I probably picked this up in an indie bundle at some point. A friend reminded me of it today, so I told him I’d play it for my daily review. I always thought it looked nice, but never looked into what the gameplay is like.
Amount Played: 1 hour; tutorial and a handful of levels in two (of four) zones
There are no enemies so to speak in Dustforce, but there are roaming creatures and flying things that will hurt you if you run into them, not unlike Super Mario Bros. I suppose. You can’t dispatch them by jumping on their heads though; instead you whack them with your broom or shoot them with your vacuum, depending on which character you play as. There are four characters to choose from in single or multiplayer, with different “dusting” devices but the same abilities. It seems like they have slightly different statistics as well, to jump higher or run faster for example.
You start in a central hub with access to a Tutorial, Map Editor, Multiplayer, and four doors leading to different zones, each with multiple doors inside that lead to individual levels. I like how navigating this hub is like playing the game itself, and it’s actually hard to get to certain areas, based on your skill of course.
As for actual gameplay, the objective is to platform your way through the level while cleaning up as completely and efficiently as possible. There is a combo meter that tracks your dusting, and the idea is to keep moving and cleaning up everything as you go. What are you cleaning? Each zone is different; the Forest has leaves, the Mansion has dust. The other zones are The City and The Lab. When you reach the end of each level you get a score for Completion and Finesse. It also marks your time for those who like to speed run. As you complete levels you earn silver and gold keys to unlock doors to more difficult levels in that zone.
(Click for a 1920 x 1200 wallpaper I made)
- Smooth controls, on a gamepad. Using a keyboard takes some getting used to and never quite feels natural. You can also remap the controls to your liking for either input.
- Soothing music. There isn’t much of it, but it’s nice.
- No health bar? Thank you.
- Multiple characters for single and multiplayer.
- Scoring system encourages replay.
- Attacks don’t always connect when I think they should.
Here’s a video I made of parts of the tutorial to further explain how you play, as well as some gameplay of a few levels.