Puzzle Farter is a 2D platformer created by Pet Tomato in which you have to help a character with a goldfish for a head navigate through each level to reach the exit door. How do you do it? By propelling him through the air with gravity-defying flatulence.
That’s right. You fart to fly.
I’d love to say that I am above immature fart jokes and the fact that you pass gas to pass levels didn’t factor into selecting this game to review, but then I’d be a liar. There’s a lot of crude potty humor in games out there, but most of it is done poorly. Puzzle Farter does it right. I’ve played dozens of times already, and I still snicker every now and then when my character cuts a big one trying to launch himself to a high platform. The game humorously incorporates toilet humor in a thematic manner that fits in the game world without making it overly gross or disgusting.
Juvenile theme aside, the game itself is expertly-crafted. The physics have been tweaked to perfection, and the controls are simple enough for anyone to grasp quickly but still allow for a large range of motion. Press up once to jump normally, then press up again while in the air and hold to fly. Right and left arrows dictate horizontal movement whether on the ground or airborne. That’s it! There are no special attacks, no key combinations, no complicated instructions to think about. Just move, jump, and fly. You only get a few seconds of total flight time before you run out of gas (literally) and fall to the ground, so you can’t fly endlessly. Your supply recharges quickly however, allowing you to get back in the air almost immediately after touching the ground.
Along the way you’ll be required to navigate through a maze of platforms that get increasingly complex. You’ll encounter five different enemies that will up the challenge quite a bit as well. Touching an enemy or something it attacks with results in losing a health point. You get three health per life and three lives per game, though there are some extra life power ups scattered throughout the levels. If you lose a life on a level, you have to start that level over. This structure forces players to get through every level with no more than 3 hits, while allowing them many more than 3 cumulative hits over the course of the entire game.
Puzzle Farter really shines when you examine its levels. The first couple levels are built in tutorials–there aren’t any enemies so you can take all the time you need to get the hang of the flying mechanic without fear of failure. The levels then slowly introduce easier enemies first in simple-to-avoid positions, followed by more and more complicated level and enemy setups. Soon you’ll be dodging fish on stilts and spiked sea anemones while flying up through a maze of paper airplanes thrown by kitties in jars. The difficulty curve ramps up very smoothly and the challenges increase proportionally to your skill level as you progress. That’s not to say you’ll likely beat all 50 levels on your first attempt, however. Getting through the entire game is no small feat, and once you do that Pet Tomato has another 50 levels waiting for you in the “New Levels” selection at the beginning of the game. They should have been called “Brutal Levels” as these will really put your methane-powered acrobatics to the test.
Room For Improvement
One minor quibble is that it’s not immediately apparent that you can safely land on the frog enemy’s tongue. You have to avoid the tip, but the middle part of the tongue is safe. This goes against every other enemy behavior you learn in the game, and it was only after I had beaten the entirety of the first 50 levels that I accidentally discovered this fact. Boy, would that have made some of the previous levels easier.
Puzzle Farter is flawlessly executed and really shows off the game development expertise of the creators, especially level design. The cute, cartoony art style and fantastic sound design compliment the game perfectly. Puzzle Farter is a joy to play, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fun casual game and a good laugh.