Ugly is a game about a less than attractive nobleman dealing with an existential crisis and reliving his memories.
The folks at Graffiti Games provided us with a copy of their newest title, Ugly. It follows a nobleman dealing with his past using mirror mechanics. On their own site, they refer to the game as a “psycho-dark fairy tale about a nobleman, a mirror, puzzles and huge bosses”. I don’t have the words to explain this game any better than that. Talk about truth in advertising. Holy hell did they nail it. The only thing they left out of the description is that it’s a platformer, an ingenious platformer but still a platformer.
Visually the game art is modeled after a child’s cartoon drawing of a rough life and mixed with the dark world around the character. This leaves the player using these drawings to piece together the nobleman’s life and all of the problems he had to deal with along the way. When I started the game I was shocked by how repulsive the main character was. It was obvious from the start of the game that the game’s name was not just a comment on his appearance though but more on the rough life he had to get him to this point.
What makes this game truly stand out are the controls and mechanics. The ability to make a mirror image of yourself and then switch places with the image is truly something I had never experienced in a game prior and it was done flawlessly. You move left and your image moves right. You both move up and down together but the image passes through walls and objects like they aren’t there and with the tap of a button you and the image swap places. This allows you to do things like climbing a ladder on the right of the screen and your image climb air to reach the platform you want, swap places and now you’re on the platform. You can absorb the image instantly if no longer needed. This makes for some truly unique puzzles. Add the captivating story where I wanted to know all the ways our character was hurt and you have a game that if I were to score with get a near perfect 9.5/10. I only had a single complaint- I like my achievement score to remain divisible by 5s and this game employs some 13s that left me grumbling but I enjoyed the game enough that it’s a non-issue because I intend to complete every bit of this game until I have a perfect gamerscore.