PAX West 2018: Exception

Friday, September 7th, 2018

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Exception | Story

I’ve played a lot of platformers in my day, but Exception might be the first one with a premise this original. The story goes thus – an old woman’s computer is hacked by a incredibly nasty virus, hell bent on destroying everything inside it. You play the role of the software program tasked with defending her computer and defeating the virus. To keep things interesting, you don’t look like a simple line of code, you’re represented in the game as a bad ass robot, while your foes are all neon hued vaguely mechanical threats.

Exception | Boss

The hook in Exception is that while you’re platforming, you can reach symbols that flip the entire stage on a different axis, allowing you to reach spots you otherwise would be unable to access. It’s a simple mechanic, but in execution it’s a lot of fun. The flow of the game is pretty basic, run from start to finish, avoiding or destroying threats in your path. There’s lots of things working against you, such as lasers, ornery robots and other threats. Just assume everything in the stage is out to kill you, since it always is.

Exception | Fall

Control wise, Exception works quite well, though it took a minute to get used to it. The physics are a bit more slippery and fast paced than I anticipated, but that’s not a critique. Rather, the game is pushing you to make your way through stages as fast as possible, and that in turn leads to you zooming through them. Momentum is a key factor in the game. I never felt I wasn’t in control of my robot, and any deaths would have been due to my not paying attention (though I managed to get through the demo without dying once).

Exception | Threats

Visually, Exception is delightful, full of neon hues and bright lights. I loved watching stages build themselves in front of my eyes as I jumped and attacked. Musically, there’s a lot of pumping synth which works perfectly to motivate you to keep moving faster and faster. I rather enjoyed my time with the game, and after doing more research, found it will have some replay value in the form of leaderboards, time bonuses and character upgrades, which means I will like the end result even better. If you enjoy platforming and need something refreshingly new, Exception is one to watch later in 2018.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.