Developed By: Cascadia Games, Chilodog Interactive (porting) Published By: Chilidog Interactive Categories: Retro, Shooter, Platformer Release Date: 06.28.21
Mighty Aphid is what I like to call jank Mega Man. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but there’s a neverending feeling of unpolish to this game.
You pick your stage, you can jump, and you shoot. Mighty Aphid wears it’s inspirations in the retro game scene on it’s sleeve. The goal for each stage is to rescue a small handful of civilians, then reach the goal. After this you’ll fight a nasty bug bossfight. After you succeed, you’ll be awarded with a new ability, from spread shots, flying, other ways to heal, and so on. I guess you could call this a mix of Shinobi/Moonwalker and Mega Man.
Each level had smaller bugs to just shoot at, which is optional, but it’s you or them. Stages are full of gems too, which at first I didn’t really understand the point of, but as soon as you get your first bonus ability, it becomes apparent. The gems and the percentage are more or less your fuel for your abilities. Big gems fuel a lot, and small gems fuel it a little bit. These abilities make running through the open, sometimes mazelike stages much smoother, so be sure not to abuse them and run out.
What immediately drew me to Mighty Aphid is how it looks. I like the sprites, how detailed some are, how colorful the game is. It’s a tad inconsistent with backgrounds looking nice in some stages or plain in other and the people you rescue having not so much detail, but it’s all pleasing to the eyes. I did enjoy the music too, though I did find it could get very old if you get lost in a level.
Unfortunately, not everything is fantastic. Jumps can feel way too high at times, which also combines with the issue that the game is full of ladders of which you can only jump up, not climb. This can lead to what seems at time like unavoidable damage. Speaking of damage, I noticed that there’s very small windows, if any at all for invincibility after getting hit, which means the small crawling enemies are super dangerous.
Bosses can also be a pain in the neck, but this is mostly just going to be for the first boss. The first boss you pick is most likely going to be the hardest one, if only because you’ll be bare with no extra abilities. You can shoot fast, but you only can shoot so far, and with a boss that charges as you, it can be difficult to not get hit. With the abilities, you earn, bosses become a cinch. Gems to refill are plentiful, but I did find that they can will get stuck in walls.
Mighty Aphid needs more time in the oven. I like what it has, and went through to the end because I was enjoying myself, but it feels just a tad unpolished in little places here and there, that kind of soil the experience.