Description2D run-and-jump platform games had their run at market dominance (thank you, Super Mario) but to make a splash with a new one in a modern context demands something quite special and extraordinary. Punishment delivers that, in the form promised in the game's title: nothing less than unmitigated masochism suffuses the game's basic elements.
Controls of your stickman are responsive enough, though his flailing parkour-style jump often tends to overshoot the desired landing spot; and yes, it's tedious to fall from the top to the bottom of a level -- then through it, to the previous level, and so forth, until you accidentally intercept a platform to break your fall. But these are just delicious licks of icing atop the cake of punishment dished up through two simple game toggle mechanisms -- the first reverses the player's left and right controls; the second rotates the screen. Not even Morimoto himself could take on SMB3 with these simple but effective hurdles strewn in his path! But in an environment where the criticism of Nintendo games (also) has gone 180 degrees -- from unwinnably difficult in the 8-bit era to toddler-friendly simplicity nowadays -- platformer fans demanding an unfair challenge may well find here something to satiate their gluttony.
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- Download Punishment! (Free, legal download of all Messhof games, including Punishment.)