Manual Samuel is the first release from developers Perfectly Paranormal, with Curve Digital publishing this 2D manual side scroller should be an automatic hit….right? Read our review to find out!
Manual Samuel starts out with a silver spoon in his mouth being the son of a rich businessman, upsetting his girlfriend while out having a coffee, she slaps him so hard that he has to really concentrate at moving his body. After a few minutes of tutorial Sam makes his way outside and goes to run across the road to his girlfriend, when he is killed in a tragic vehicle/poo collision. This sounds serious, although it’s all tongue in cheek humour, you meet death and make a deal to return back to the land of the living, this is when you realise dancing with death isn’t such a good idea as you have to do everything manually, from blinking, breathing and walking!
Each action is set out with a different button on your controller, Left and right triggers are your left and right leg for walking, if you make a mistake and tap left trigger twice you do the splits and this very odd wiggle across the floor, blinking is simply done by tapping the A button and you’ll have to do this numerous times or the screen will fade to white! You breath in with X and out with B, now I don’t want to list every action and how you do it in the game but as you can imagine this is a game which will have you button bashing, raging and sometimes giving an odd sense of accomplishment with some of the easiest of tasks we do in our day to day lives!
As you can imagine it isn’t solely structured on you controlling sam (well it is) but you get a few changes along the way whilst yourself and douchebag death try to live out the 24 hours to return to your spoilt rich kid life! Manual Samuel also has a co-op campaign to play through which looks like it could be soul-destroyingly difficult as the single character is controlled by both players (so one person controls the left leg and the other controls the right leg) you can customise it so one person can control walking and the other hand actions and breathing etc but where’s the fun in that?
And along with co-op mode you also have Time Attack mode which is in essence the campaign again but this time with a timer, speedrunners will love this, the slow paced game under a fast paced timer will show true skill and precision! All of these game modes are met with an annoying backing track although it mixes into other styles of music i.e rock which has been thought out really well and in turn delivers a decent and easy audio experience, the witty narrator whose job it is to tell you everything you are doing throughout this 24 hour fight for your life is the icing on the comedy cake with the tongue in cheek hashtags (which double up as collectables)