Super Mixtape is a retro physics based rhythm-puzzle-platformer currently in alpha stage on PC. Developed and published by Polygrammatic Limited, Super Mixtape sees you playing as Mix, a cassette tape on an adventure through a neon, chromatic world reminiscent of what people in the 1980s thought the future would look like.
You are Mix. An excitable little mixtape with some unique, but logical, abilities and a directive to finish the level. Guiding you on your journey is Master Blaster, a giant boom box who acts as both moral support and as a travel mechanism. Super Mixtape features all the stock-standard platformer controls and features.
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Mix moves in a hamfisted manner, sliding along the terrain and keeping you on your toes, but it’s his jump mechanics which provide relief standard platformer movement. Using the wheels and spools which hold his tape, Mix can jump in either direction depending on which wheel he jumps with. Once in the air, Mix can be rotated in either direction to aid long or high jumps. This is an incredibly frustrating mechanic to try and pick up at first, and we highly recommend you play this game with a controller rather than keyboard and mouse, but once you have jumped the wrong way 10 or 20 times you will very likely have gotten the hang of it and it makes jumping around the empty maps all the more fun.
Mix’s main ability is flipping sides, from A to B, a groovy example of turning a mundane feature of one thing and incorporating it into an interesting gaming mechanic. The map is slightly different on each side, and you will need to time your flips well to be in the right place at the right time. It is not easy, though! Flipping between sides also reverses the direction of the map - think the Reverse card in UNO and how that one annoying friend can throw off your whole strategy!
Another of Mix’s abilities is to alter the music playing in the background. At first, this seems like a purely cosmetic feature and it had us scratching our heads a little but once you encounter the first sequence in which it is required, it all clicks. By changing the music track, different parts of the map can be manipulated, but it is not as simple as just changing the song. There are four different tracks, and two of them correspond to each side of the map, meaning that you will not only need to swiftly switch between tracks but also flip between sides while making sure you are always going in the right direction.
The environment is simple and reminds us of a throwback to an earlier generation of game design. Striking neon colours are used, making it nice and easy to see where you should and shouldn’t be trying to go, and just what you need to do to get past any puzzles. There is not a great deal of audio available in the game at the moment, and the four different tracks are not easily discernable by ear, but a tidy interface and clear cues mean that is not such a huge issue - particularly given the work that Polygrammatic Limited are continuing to do on the title.
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The game still exists in its Alpha stage, so there is a long way to go yet but plenty of promising signs. A spattering of new and interesting gameplay mechanics on top of the tried-and-true platformer foundation make this game one to keep an eye out for when its gets its full release.
We played Super Mixtape on PC with an Xbox One Controller, and we highly recommend a handheld controller over trying to use a keyboard and mouse. You can get your hands on an Early Access copy of the game for AUD $16.99 on Steam.