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Backlog Twosome | Merrily Perilly

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Poor Perry just needed a drink of water! So, when he stumbled into a small town, naturally, he thought he was saved. Instead, what he encountered was a town full of loony locals that not only didn’t seem sympathetic to his plight, but would more often than not give him a brand new one in its place!

Squiddershins have really created something super silly and super unique with their most recent release, Merrily Perilly. So, we were so excited to dive in head first and see what kind of peril Perry was pontificating posthaste!

I follow Top Hat Studios Twitter page quite closely because honestly they support some of the most unique indie games in the biz as far as I’m concerned. I read about Merrily Perilly’s release and promptly watched the trailer based on the fun looking artwork alone. I’m glad we were given the opportunity to cover this game as I feel it’s a pretty unexampled experience worth having!

I’ve always been drawn to unique and interesting indie games. Especially those that take a simple concept, spin it with a deft hand, and deliver an experience that subverts your expectations.

Merrily Perilly is definitely one of those games. Well, at least it looked like it could be, based on what we were able to see from the gameplay presented in its trailer. It seemed to be some kind of an adventure game, blanketed in a peculiar exploration based puzzler. So, to satisfy our curiosity, we jumped right in!

In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure how to take the game. It seemed kind of simple, and a bit monotonous, but as soon as we started to figure out what the game wanted from us, we were determined to see it through to the end! I really enjoyed the loop of gaining some sort of affliction, having to figure out how to resolve it, only to be impaired by another! Then if you completed certain events in a particular order, or spoke to the right person while suffering from a specific peril, you could unlock a variety of endings. The whole concept promoted experimentation, and I really appreciate that.

The only thing that really dragged the experience down however, is the fact that you are on a strict time limit while suffering from a peril, and if you don’t resolve it within the time offered, you’ll have to start the run over again. I understand why it was designed this way, since it does add a bit of franticness to the gameplay, and you can just leave town to reset your status, but I found it made me speed through one of the best parts of the game. The dialog!! Which honestly, combined with the super charming graphics, and the perfectly kooky music, was an amazing fit for the game. Oh, and the humor was 100% on point!

At its core Merrily Perilly is a puzzle game, and though the concept, and even the solutions, are fairly simple, the fact that the entire game is heavily dipped in humor makes this game stand up strong alongside others in this genre.

The map is relatively small, but since you have a little hourglass timer counting down the seconds to Perry’s demise, be that fainting, bleeding out, or just death via embarrassment, figuring things out in a timely manner can still absolutely present a challenge. We had to start over more than once because we couldn’t get poor old Perry to the toilet on time or a bear popped out of said toilet and clawed him across the face. It really is just like the Priest says, “Let pooping bears poop!”.

The game being what it is I can’t say I really encountered much for things to complain about. I did hold a little hope once we encountered the first ending that we would now be moving on to a new area for Perry to find peril in, but alas, we just looped back to the beginning, dehydrated and without direction. That being said however, we then realized there was an entire page of achievements to unlock by finding different endings and experiencing different combinations of perils. I could absolutely see a new area being added or tacked on though. I’d 100% be down for that if it were something the devs ever had in mind.

The goofy dialogue was easily my favorite part of this game. There was honestly no telling what a townsfolk’s reaction was going to be based on whatever fresh hazard you seemed to be suffering from this time around. That or what new one they would give you in its place should they decide to help you! For example, after the mermaid sprays you in the face, Dracula no longer wants to bite you because you “taste spicy”. Or, if you drink the holy water in the abbey you obtain an incurable crisis of faith. Then, if you happen to get scratched by a bear, the girl by the well will set you on fire for bleeding on her shoes. What’s not to love!?

For a short and sweet experience, there’s not too much I would change about the game. Except maybe to get more of it! Give us more levels to explore, more silly characters to interact with, and more of those outrageous perils to discover.

I mean, I know I mentioned that the time limit was a bit of an annoyance, but I don’t think removing it would improve upon the game considering how it was designed. With small maps to explore you can get end to end before that time runs out, which gives you more than enough time to do whatever you need. That and it keeps the fire under your butt. I just like going through things at my own pace dang it!

Since Merrily Perilly was so short, we would typically just pass the controller once we failed a couple of times to solve whichever peril we were currently afflicted with. That or if we happened to run across one of its endings. With that in mind, you can literally finish the game in a single sitting within an hour, including obtaining all of its achievements. So if you’re really good, there wouldn’t be much of an opportunity to share with a friend!

I will say this though, working together to figure out what we needed to do during the various stages of the game was super fun. Like we always say, a twosome of backloggers is better than one!

We had a great time playing this game together. Since it was so short there wasn’t much opportunity to pass the controller back and forth but we would exchange turns every time Perry’s ticket got punched. Really teamwork came into play while figuring out where to go or who to talk to next, in order to keep our pitiable protagonist alive for at least another minute.

The achievements really sparked our drive to keep going and get absolutely everything. We had to know what kind of ending collecting all the hats gave us so Perry may have drowned or bled out a few more times than he would’ve cared for, but it was all in the interest of discovery!

This is an exceptional little game to get if you’re looking for something simple, yet satisfying. Plenty of kooky comedy to keep you entertained for a few hours and coming in at a pretty low price point, you won’t have to break the bank to do it. 

If you’re interested in checking out Merrily Perilly, you can find it right now on the Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation Store, and Steam!