PlataGo! Super Platform Game Maker Review

When it comes to platform game makers there’s no way you can think about them without comparing them to the standards of the Super Mario Maker series. Those games offer tons of content with the possibilities being as endless as your imagination. However with those games being as expensive as they are, perhaps some would enjoy a much cheaper alternative? That’s where PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker comes in. Costing only one-third of the price of Super Mario Maker 2, it aims to give you the platform game making experience on a much smaller budget. Unfortunately it couldn’t avoid falling into a bottomless pit.

 

 

Like all great platform game makers, the core gameplay revolves around its simplicity. You can drag and drop your tiles onto the scene with ease, creating platforms and backgrounds as you go. There are a variety of art styles to choose from, with each one completely changing every asset from platform tiles to enemies. The objective in any level is to reach an exit door, which can be unlocked by collecting however many gems you set in a level. There is also some online functionality, as you can upload your levels for others to play. A really neat feature is the ability to combine all of your levels into a single game. You can choose some levels and set them on a map akin to Super Mario World so other players can challenge them online.

While simplicity is welcomed in a platform game maker, this game takes it a bit too far, thus becoming a constraint on imaginative designs. Unlike Super Mario Maker, which allows you to create levels in a variety of different ways, there is only one way to create a stage in this game, and that’s by making a square room. You can’t have long levels to traverse nor can you have multiple sections in a level you can warp to – all you have is a boxed in room. The biggest problem with this is that it hinders your creativity. The game forces you into one specific style of creating a level, and one specific style of completing it. This greatly impacts variety and takes away one of the biggest appeals of Super Mario Maker – surprise. In that title there were thousands of unique courses with many different ways to reach the flagpoles and countless innovative ideas that brought a smile to so many players. Here there’s only one way to beat a level – collect enough gems. Creativity is practically thrown out the window.

 

 

Another issue with PlataGo is that it just lacks passion. It gives you the absolute bare bone essentials needed to make a small level, and nothing more. You can’t combine items or enemies to make some unique circumstances. There are no items that allow you to interact with the level, such as rising lava or falling spikes. Even the art style change feature feels creatively drained as all it does is alter the game’s visuals, but not the art itself. Unlike Super Mario Maker which lets you play the Desert or Forest art styles with the visuals of any of the four Mario games, all this game offers you is just the visual aesthetic of those consoles and nothing new visually. The sprites are pretty much the same no matter what. You can swap to other visual styles like sci-fi, or a Megaman-like art style, but you can view these other styles in a NES or SNES visual. All of these smaller issues combined really add to the drain this game has on your creativity.

By far the biggest issue with this game has to its price. This game costs $20, which is one-third the price of the Super Mario Maker games. I can safely say that this game does not even have one-third of the content, nor passion, that those games had. Maybe if the price has lowered down dramatically, then you could justify this game’s lack of content. As it stands, there are better platform game makers out on the switch that cost far less than this does. Not to mention that a lot of standard games are even starting to incorporate these game makers. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate has updated with a pretty robust stage builder, and recently the Link’s Awakening remake has confirmed that it will have a dungeon builder of its own. With all of the competition coming out, you would have to do something really special to make your game maker stand out from the crowd. You can’t even call it a good platformer for a smaller budget, because there are far better games on the system for less than $20. You can feel free to pass on this one.

 

 

PlataGo! Super Platform Game Maker Review
  • 6/10
    Graphics - 6/10
  • 4/10
    Sound - 4/10
  • 5/10
    Gameplay - 5/10
  • 4/10
    Lasting Appeal - 4/10
4.5/10

Final Thoughts: BAD

PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker offers the absolute bare minimum. The only neat feature this game has to offer is one of its online functions, but beyond that everything is completely void of creativity. Your imagination is strictly limited to the poor game design, and it lacks the robust features you can find in other platform game makers. Not to mention the price for this title is not justified in any way, shape, or form.

 

4 thoughts on “PlataGo! Super Platform Game Maker Review

  • July 3, 2019 at 9:04 PM
    Permalink

    Hi.
    There are several claims (made in this review) that are severely misleading, among others that are simply incorrect.

    – The developer is Super Icon, not pQube. pQube are solely publishing this title.
    – Completing levels is not solely achieved via collecting gems. There are 3 official clear conditions – (1) gem collection (2) enemy elimination (3) Simply reaching the exit.
    – I don’t know what you mean by making all levels into a square boxed room. Have you tried zooming the screen out? It’s huge.
    – Aforementioned zoomed out map allows tall vertical levels, wide horizontal levels, diagonal levels, and maps staggeringly large if you make them so.
    – You stated you cannot warp anywhere. This is not true. You may place infinite portals (like Mario doors/pipes) to teleport anywhere. You could literally teleport 100 times (or more) all over the large map.
    – There are also 8 regions per level (to also teleport to) if designers wish for players to warp into sub areas (all within same level), that may use different background art, even implementing different physics.
    – You stated there are no items that influence the level dynamics, nor items that combine. This is wrong. You may equip a jet pack with a shooting weapon – and you’ve now created synergy between the 2 items. You are now playing a shooting flying game. SHMUP. There are also bubbles to fly in, so reaching high areas requiring flying tools, is one simple means of creatively making your own ‘level clear conditions’, beyond the 3 I already mentioned above.
    -You seem to have failed to mention what you CAN do in the game. One thing you left out – we can customise nearly every dynamic entity in the game. Change player air control, ground control, friction, jump height, acceleration, variable jump etc. There is enormous customisation, which for some reason, you chose not to explore. Extensive customisation sliders objectively push this feature ahead of Mario Maker. Customise enemy movement? Yes.
    – I’ve spent over 1000 hours in game (Steam Early Access – non developer) and I made a level that takes me 15 minutes to speedrun without dying. Short levels these are not. Creativity is not stifled. Endless content is there for those who wish to make it.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2019 at 1:45 PM
    Permalink

    Dear Jordan Brewer, how much time have you put in this game before reviewing it? I have put a few hours on the game and I think it is awesome, but that’s just a personal feeling. What is not fair is to claim that the game has a series of limitations that come actually from a rushed review and not from the game itself.

    You can build huge levels, interconnect different regions (you can wrap between them) and even interconnect serveral of those huge levels into a full game. That’s just on of the things that are wrong about this review. Would you kindly update your review? this kind of review can hurt badly an indie game that needs a decent start. Thanks

    Reply
  • July 9, 2019 at 10:40 PM
    Permalink

    SERIOUSLY, All I want to know IS:

    1. Can you make Bosses in this game?(That is, assign HP to each individual Baddy or Boss).
    2. Size the Boss fixed or Not?
    3. Shooting device. (Simple/single pew pew only 1 direction, or multi directional shoots and arrays/types like contra).
    4. Simple left right up down movement only, or diags and fall push throughs?
    5. Creatable tile everything, right?
    (6. Stage Clear/Message/Transition Screens?)

    TL;DR, Can we Make Contra and/or SMB3 with this if we had the skill, or is this just a mock up type artistic tool deal(where you just click and drop to show some people what your game would be like if it had more support)?

    Added Note: Can we at LEAST Make Star Hunted with this?

    Saw vids, NONE of them addressed this.
    I skipped RPG Maker FES because of Item 5, it seems I would have somehow MORE reasons to skip this.

    And, thanks for addressing the movement speed tweeks, that helped info wise.

    Reply
    • July 17, 2019 at 6:32 PM
      Permalink

      1. Can you make Bosses in this game?(That is, assign HP to each individual Baddy or Boss).

      Yes, you can make bosses. ‘Boss enemies’ do not exist as a specific category, however the ‘standard enemy’ customisation allows for awesome bosses. There are 16 standard enemies (split between flying, shooting, walking, bouncing). You may give all of these enemies up to 100 hit points.

      From there, enemy customisation opens up further – damage amount per enemy shot, shot speed, custom score (when player defeats enemy), ground movement speed, number of rounds in a burst of shots, time between bursts. You can also force enemies to only chase towards player, or only turn away from player, or make enemies only vulnerable from their back (or front..).

      For example I made an auto-scroll fight where boss always chased towards/faced me on foot, I had to survive its shots, while collecting gems to open the exit door. This is a pretty typical boss fight with forced pacing. I’ve made other bosses that require shooting its back only, where player must quickly land beside its ‘back’ and take a quick shot, before boss turns around. (You can customise how quickly boss turns to face player (delay with turning)).

      2. Size the Boss fixed or Not?

      Fixed. The biggest bouncing enemy takes up 12 grid squares. Player takes up 2 squares. Most are smallish though. Classic Mega Man like boss size for most part.

      3. Shooting device. (Simple/single pew pew only 1 direction, or multi directional shoots and arrays/types like contra).

      Multiple shot speeds you can give to shooting weapons. Diagonals yes. Recoil customisation. Damage amount customisation. ‘Firing rate customisation’ for how rapid shots will continuously fire, like a machine gun. So if you hold down trigger – shots will fire automatically/quickly. Or slow it right down, so there’s forced cool down between shots.

      You cannot do wide ‘spread shots’ like Contra, no. However there are 9 shooting weapons that, when setup with different shot speeds etc, may all behave very differently. Examples: basic pew pew, laser, boomerang, homing rocket, throwing hammer, flame thrower, ninja star.

      4. Simple left right up down movement only, or diags and fall push throughs?

      Simple left/right/up/down. However, you can also set powerful weapon recoil to create a ‘weapon recoil jumping mechanic.’ – I.e. – Press down, fire weapon, and fly upwards via recoil. With this setup – you can shoot diagonally AND fly diagonally.

      5. Creatable tile everything, right?

      As in modified assets? Not sure what you mean. On Steam version you can modify all art, music, sounds, graphics etc (you will need separate editing software like photoshop or Aseprite). On Switch version you can only use the 10 default themes (NES/SNES/GAMEBOY etc, among 7 other classic systems/looks). Unable to add custom mods on Switch.

      (6. Stage Clear/Message/Transition Screens?)

      There is one official ‘clear message’ option – when you have completed a game. Games are defined as ‘linked levels’ in platago. Complete a game – read a custom message. Not sure how long you can make it, but about a long paragraph at least. However there are NPCs who can give advice, words of wisdom, wherever you want in a level. If you’re creative, you could place an NPC at the end of every level with a message to read etc.

      There is no official transition screen between every level. However, NPCs offer some workaround, as above.

      ………………..

      TL;DR, Can we Make Contra and/or SMB3 with this if we had the skill, or is this just a mock up type artistic tool deal(where you just click and drop to show some people what your game would be like if it had more support)?

      …………………

      The first thing to note – there are NO LIVES. Zero life system, however, you can place hearts (= health) to keep you going mid level, and place checkpoints. Basically it’s instant/infinite restart upon actual death. The best way to sort of simulate a life system, is indeed, by creatively using/placing hearts and placing checkpoints. Player can have a maximum of 10 hearts (at once in reserve), so you can take health damage up to 10 hits etc.

      Can pretty much make a basic ‘2d side scrolling Contra’, with some basic enemy AI, but nothing absolutely advanced. Again, no player spread shots. With creativity you can do quite a bit though. SMB3… kind of. There’s a basic world/ level map. This shows you which level moves onto which level. Can only make a game with total of roughly 12 levels. You cannot design a unique, pretty world map, it’s fixed in style. The power ups don’t match SMB3. Included power ups in platago are ‘flight bubbles’, jet packs, hearts for more health etc. You can slow time, use bomb for destroying walls, mines too. Can collect coins for score. So it sort of offers SMB3 ‘type’ stuff, but its all quite unique, it’s own personal thing. Oh, you can also put these items into ‘special blocks’ (which act like ? mark Mario blocks)

      ………………..

      Added Note: Can we at LEAST Make Star Hunted with this?

      Yes, kind of, but again, NO LIVES. Also no ‘game over screen’. I watched some Star Hunted footage, it looks very basic – platago can easily make this (in as far as level design is concerned). There is however no ‘game over’ screen, no lives. Will need to use hearts/health.

      Basically the utility is there, to make all sorts of stuff, but you need to be creative to get the most out of stuff. Workarounds are aplenty, for smart patient people who want to experiment.

      Reply

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