Sigi: A Fart for Melusina is a retro-inspired 2D platformer that shares a number of similarities to the classic Ghouls ‘n Ghosts by Capcom – just with a dollop of added flatulence. You take control of a rotund, bearded Knight, by the name of Sigi, on a quest to reach the top of Mount Stinkup to save Melusina who has been kidnapped by the dastardly Ivan Stinkup. The development team have tried to keep this game light-hearted (or should I say light-farted) but like my poor attempt at a joke it wears thin quickly. I mean everyone loves a fart joke but having one on pretty much every level stinks, ok I’m done.
Visually Sigi looks and feels like an 8 / 16-bit era title, it is a long way from ever being stunning but having said that it does what it needs to do. The game has a pleasing visual quirkiness wrapping up the whole package using sprite-based characters and parallax backgrounds, which is an old technique developed to make games really stand out when moving. It’s nostalgic and charming, making great use of a limited colour palette in keeping with the style it is replicating. At times I felt the animation could have been a little more detailed but realistically that is a product of its own making.
The controls are basic but perfect, directional pad for movement, face buttons for jump and attack. They are responsive, tight and never caused an issue. The game kicks off as you race towards a lake to meet Melusina, who is a mermaid and the source of our first ‘dad’ joke. Sigi announces “Blimey, what a pair of lungs” before letting out a thunderous fart and scaring her off. He takes chase and eventually ends up by a hot dog van which is used as the end point of each stage, so why not have our hero do a little dance and let out another fart. An overworld map detailing each checkpoint is used to show progress and allows for previously beaten levels to be re-played.
In total there are twenty levels to battle through in order to rescue Melusina, they tend to get a little frantic but can be easily finished within a couple of minutes. Levels are a combination of classic side-scrolling platformer with a light splattering of item collecting. Power-up icons can be used to cycle through the different weapons available and range from all-time classics, such as a sword or lance, to the more obscure chicken leg. There are a few secret areas to find which contain various loot items and collecting coins is a Mario type affair. Reaching 100 coins gives you an extra life but additionally, they can also be earned by locating four letters that spell out Sigi on each level. Some of the letters can be a little challenging to find but on my first playthrough I scored over 75% completion, importantly this gives a reason to replay once the main campaign is over.
This leads nicely onto the main gripe with the game, it’s short, really short – like a little squeaker. On beating the last boss, which admittedly did take me a couple of attempts, my game clock sat at a whopping… 44 minutes. The dev team even state “platformer junkies and advanced speedrunners could finish Sigi in around 30 minutes! For everyone else, completing the story mode will take roughly 1 hour” on the plus side that slaps me right in the middle.
Sigi: A fart for Melusina is a fun retro-inspired platformer that tries too hard to be funny and has some interesting references. It is very, very short and it took me as long to write this review as finishing the game did but at least it offers re-playability in the form of collecting letters. For the price, it is a fun experience but can be found cheaper on other formats.
Beard Score: 6/10
Genre: Platformer, Arcade, Adventure
Publisher: Sometimes You
Release: 07/09/2018 (Console)
Format: Steam, Mobile, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch