Washington’s Wig Review

For what initially seemed a very simple game, a single button game with a single main mechanic, Washington’s Wig has a surprising amount of depth and humour that really helps keep it fresh.

Coming from Team2Bit, who we recently interviewed here on MCM Buzz, Washington’s Wig was the winning game in IGN’s The Next Game Boss video game development talent competition. Teams of game developers were challenged to create a playable game in under a week, with restrictions set on the game as they went along, forcing them to think creatively. The first of these was that their game could only use one input for player controls.

Given the restrictions they had in place, Team2Bit were able to make their game, Washington’s Wig, stand out with their unique brand of humour. The basic story is that George Washington has crossed the Delaware in preparation to fight the British, but has forgotten his trademark white wig. The challenge of getting the wig across the Delaware to him rests with Dogsworth McFreedom, a patriotic puppy wearing the iconic curly white wig.

The game’s retro art style is very strong. While visually simple, not a single pixel is wasted. It’s always clear what breed of dogs you’re coming across, and there is enough detail to allow a host of different obstacles and characters be instantly recognisable, without ever feeling cluttered. They went for a more minimal style and it really paid off for them. The game is visually consistent throughout and I instantly understood what they were doing with it and why.

Considering the game uses a single button for control, I had at first feared it could get repetitive. Thankfully, it not only introduces enough new elements as you progress, but each of the different modes feels and plays very differently. While the Arcade mode rewards you for going slow and using things like the eagle to avoid obstacles and stay safe, the Time Trial mode for example has the opposite focus and rewards you for avoiding jumping and putting yourself at risk in order to get extra speed. Along with a high score system and additional characters outside of the main story (including some from other indie titles) the game has more than enough reasons for you to keep coming back.

The two player mode is also really good fun. I found that with its simple controls, it was very easy to introduce to both core gamers and those who don’t traditionally play video games. My mum, who doesn’t like her games getting more complex than the original Super Mario, really liked the art style and got onboard with the game almost instantly. It can get very competitive very quickly and I think it will be one I come back to play for quite some time.

The developers, Team2Bit, have also talked about Washington’s Wig eventually coming to mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Playing the PC version really sold me on the idea of this being the perfect mobile title. The simple controls easily lend themselves to a mobile or touch screen interface and the game is really fun in short bursts, making it ideal to play on the bus or while waiting in a queue. I can’t wait to see it implemented on those platforms and have high hopes for the quality.

Washington’s Wig is very self-aware with a quirky sense of humour, and the art style is fantastic. The game plays smoothly and all the mechanics work well (you can always predict how the jumps will go and I didn’t face any issues with collision detection during my time with it). I would recommend giving it a go if you get a chance, particularly when it receives its mobile release. It won’t give you extended play sessions, but I’ll be coming back for my quick fix of platform jumping fun for quite a while.

 

Washington’s Wig is currently only available to Team2Bit‘s Fist Puncher Kickstarter backers, but will be seeing a PC and mobile release later in the year. You can find out more at http://www.team2bit.com/

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