By Chris Picone, 22 March 2023
I'll confess I'm well tired of the whole Coronavirus/epidemic theme but the gameplay in Germinal 's trailers looked too good to ignore. And the devs took a bit of a satirical approach with the Eboluenza virus, it's always nice to play something that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Like any healthy human, I absolutely adore anything miniature. And the mini pixel characters are to die for! The levels themselves are based around the idea of a home quarantine, with each stage a different room in the house. It's simple and blocky like most platformers but there are some nice backgrounds and it's pretty polished overall. There are also some nice little cutscene moments between levels that inject a little humour and story to keep things connected and interesting.
It may not look like it but this is a precision platformer. Your goal is to jetpack around each level, collecting some sort of canister things and trying to find the exit. Two buttons control everything, with double jump and levitate being your two main abilities. There is a third, passive ability; as you jet around, the bubbles clean the germs off the surfaces - some of them, anyway. Which is good, because one touch and you're instantly dead. The game auto-saves for you though, so you can keep trying over and over again (you'll need to!). The more canisters you grab, the more powerful or longer lasting your jetpack gets, which can open up new areas in the level - but that's not as easy as it sounds. Often, you can see the canisters and can get to the other side of the screen to keep moving but the actual collection can be very tricky.
It's much tougher than it looks. It's probably friendly enough for most casual gamers but really it's aimed at precision platformer fans who don't mind dying a bunch of times. I'm finding it very challenging but equally enjoyable.