04 May 2012


Gaming Genres: Action, Platformer, Exploration
Story Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Comedic
Graphical Styles: 2D, Hand-Drawn, Cartoon, Pixel Art
Platforms: Windows
Pricing Model: Free
Developer(s): Yahtzee Croshaw
Publisher(s): Yahtzee Croshaw
Initial Release Date: April 4, 2012
Website(s): Homepage
Poacher is a 2D platformer, but it's got a surprising amount of character packed into its pixels. You play as Derek Badger, a Yorkshireman with an outrageous accent and a shotgun. Simply jumping Badger around and turning rabbits into a brief explosion of pus and bile is deliciously fun, and there is a fair bit of puzzling and platforming to get through. Good times.

By far the biggest game created by Yahtzee yet released, Poacher frankly surprised me. The game-world is almost too big and open that it sometimes is overwhelming, and by the time you get the game map you are really in need of it.

Poacher has quite a bit of moderately high challenge platforming, lots of shooting action, new abilities and upgrades for existing abilities, and a decent amount of enemies and bosses. It does not quite have the diversity in weaponry and enemies as many action platformers but it does what it does well. All of this is held together by a cohesiveness storyline and well crafted world.You have a somewhat minimalistic story told though cutscenes in-between the action, and quite a bit of backstory to the conflict can be gleamed by searching out secret storytellers.

You are a stereotypical Yorkshireman with an almost completely unintelligible ascent and a shotgun. You and your best friend/nemesis the gamekeeper from an estate you like poaching on fall down a hole in the earth. You soon discover a young female ghost who inhabits you in what she calls a compact, which grants you additional abilities. Together you make your way to the Spirit Kingdom to get separated, only to find that the long time enemies of the Spirit Kingdom, the Dark Ones, have started an assault on the Spirit Kingdom, in obvious opposition of the truce.

So your adventure begins. In this adventure you must release the full powers of your compact, and save the Spirit Kingdom and yourself from the evil Dark Ones. Along the way you unlock numerous heath and spirit upgrades as well as upgrading your platforming ability uniquely four times, a single damage upgrade, as well as unlocking numerous uses for your spirit powers.

It is a fantastic game, with a well realised world, and great gameplay. Not very much like Yahtzee's previous games, but you can see his touch in how well the story is integrated into the world.

Images (+):
Indieness: Indie
Play?: Should Play

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