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Review: Talent Not Included

by onSeptember 12, 2016
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Talent Not Included is a frantic little sidescroller in which you dodge obstacles in a theater setting to get high scores and eventually put on the performance of a lifetime. It starts off with a clever little animation that explains how a group of monsters decide to put on a theatrical production, eventually recruiting the three traditional RPG heroes: a knight, a rogue and a mage. The idea of the game is that you’re to put on a play with these three as your starring cast, and a demonic critic is trying his damnedest to make everything go wrong.

The game really gets into its theater theme, as each level is set on a stage with mechanical enemies and obstacles. You even hear the audience gasp and cheer depending on how things are going, so they really committed to the concept. As for your objective, you collect little tokens and eventually collect a golden gear which switches the level’s layout and introduces you to a new host of things trying their best to kill you.

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Screenshots provided by Frima Studios

There are also boss fights, which are pretty basic mixes of dodging and attacking. I liked the difficulty curve, as it definitely felt like there was a real challenge, but it never felt too frustrating. The game reminded me of Penarium, another fast and frantic obstacle dodger, but I got the sense that Talent Not Included had more charm and personality. The music doesn’t change up that much, but it’s a nice, jaunty melody and it gives the game a much more light-hearted feel.

In terms of content, Talent Not Included doesn’t offer all that much, but it does manage to switch things up. Obstacles constantly shift, as I mentioned before, and you’ll need to mix jumping, wall climbing and dash moves to get around each level. The game is divided into three main ‘acts’ and you control a different character in each act. Much like the knight, rogue and mage of traditional RPG’s, your protagonists each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

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All in all, the game is fairly short, so this one will probably be a sale or bundle buy for most of you considering how much bang you’re getting for your 13 bucks. You can definitely push yourself to get further in each level to get the higher scores and rank higher on the leaderboards, but other than that, the game really doesn’t offer that much of a meaty experience.

Talent Not Included was reviewed using a PC downloadable code of the game provided by Frima Studios. Game was tested on a PC running Windows 7 Pro, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4790 3.6Ghz CPU and topped with 8GB of RAM. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published

What we liked

• Balanced difficulty curve
• Charming setting
• Constantly shifting levels

What is not fun

• Light on content
• Platforming can feel a bit wonky

Editor Rating
 
Concept
7.5

 
Graphics
8.3

 
Sound
8.5

 
Playability
8.4

 
Entertainment
7.7

 
Replay Value
7.0

Final Score
7.9


Our final verdict
 

Talent Not Included is a platformer with a fun, cheery setting comically mixed with deadly obstacles that will keep you on your toes. While it’s a bit light on content, it does manage to switch things up and stay varied.

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