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Hidden Gems: Beeny

Hidden Gems: Beeny

Growing up, I played a lot of Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with my brothers during the summers and at Christmastime. We would stay up for hours just chatting it up, laughing hysterically and dying on almost every level. So I think I can honestly say those experiences shaped who I am today, as a lover of videogames and a critic, and over the years, I’ve grown increasingly fond of the simple act of running and jumping.

Fortunately, I saw a tweet from Siactro regarding a release date for his new game, Beeny, and I immediately loaded up my Nintendo Switch and added it to my wishlist. I was already a fan of Siactro’s work after playing the short but sweet Toree 3D and falling in love with its low poly original PlayStation-style graphics and subtle horror elements. Siactro’s games are great to pop in every once in a while if you don’t want to subject yourself to a 100-hour-long adventure and feel like doing some platforming. So I was more than ready to jump right into this thing and what’s even better is that it costs less than a pound. But that also worried me because I realised many people would never hear of Beeny, which really bothered me. So why have I taken you on this long-as-heck intro? Well, with this game being a vertical 2D platformer, I think it’s extra special. This article's focus is on hidden gems, so I feel the need to bring this title to your attention, as the game probably got overshadowed by the laundry list of new releases coming out over the next few months. And that’s not right at all!

However, contrary to what I said a little while earlier, there is no running in this game, only jumping. And as the name suggests, you play as a very round bee; don’t get scared though, there isn’t any stinging! Beeny also has a great sense of weight every time you jump or move, but that never gets in the way of your platforming. It’s not the level design that caught my eye though; it’s the atmosphere. There was a reason I started this piece by mentioning the Super Nintendo; it’s because Beeny uses pre-rendered graphics just like Rare (the developer behind Sea of Thieves) used to in the 1990s with its Donkey Kong Country series. Man, are these visuals ever gorgeous! It honestly felt like I was playing Bramble Blast for the first time all over again, and while the music didn’t quite live up to David Wise’s legendary score, it still did a good enough job setting the scene. That’s not all though, as there are some nifty secrets to unlock after you reach what seems like the final level. Unfortunately, completing the game doesn't take long at all, but Beeny should still be on your radar nonetheless!

As for those nifty secrets, there is an extra level to play after you beat all the main stages and some sweet bonus content that leads into the developer’s next title. So while the mechanics might be a bit simple, as all you’re really doing is jumping up and avoiding the occasional obstacle, Beeny is still a great time, especially during the holidays. I can definitely see myself replaying this game around then, as there are some great winter-themed levels and fall stages that feel almost like bliss. Siactro and his team nailed the atmosphere, and I think that makes Beeny something more people need to play!

 So yeah, there you have it; all those reasons and more are why I think Beeny is great and should be on everyone’s wishlist. It’s by no means the longest game out there, and it’s nowhere near as complex as some other titles in the genre, but it’s a charming experience, and you can get it for less than it costs to buy a container of honey. So go play Beeny, I highly doubt you’ll regret it.

Hidden Gem
Jon Wilson

Jon Wilson

Staff Writer

Lover of dogs, video games, and Fall.

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