Standby is an action platformer published by Hypertrain Digital and developed by NoClip. A self-described ”high-octane platformer.”
The opening cutscene explains that you are trying to escape a glitched-out world. Other than that, there is nothing more for a story. Regardless of what is going on, one thing for sure is staying still is something you won’t be doing.
Standby has you running, jumping, sliding, and shooting your way through a narrow hallway. While the controls are easy enough, the issue is more about pressing the button at the right time. One major issue that I encountered is each button has multiple functions, and sometimes hitting it at the wrong time (or not in the right way) would cause the character to react differently than what you wanted. Another problem is that things move so fast it’s often hard to hit the correct button at the correct time. As players are sliding and jumping their way through levels they are trying to collect ‘keys’ that are littered throughout. Collecting these, as well as escaping levels as quickly as possible, is the goal. Overall the levels seem rather short but there are more than fifty to complete, giving players more than enough to attempt to master. Each level builds from the last while adding just a little extra. Standby doesn’t leave much room for errors, which often leads to restarting a level from the beginning.
Graphically as well as audibly it is very minimalist. While it looks and sounds decent it is easy to tell that this wasn’t the main focus. Backgrounds are usually just solid colors with the shadow of the level cast upon it. Not necessarily a bad thing but nothing too inspirational. Music and sound effects are also very minimal; most actions are just a beep or a thud.
Now I have to admit I haven’t played too many precision platformers. Most of the ones I have played had something that Standby lacked: a connection with the characters, backed by a decent storyline. A game with precise platforming, as well as a more difficult game, is better backed by a storyline and a character you care about getting out of whatever situation they’re in. Standby lacks that connection that makes you care about the end goal. It got to the point where the levels were so difficult I couldn’t care less about what happened to the little guy in the pea-green trench coat. I didn’t have the motivation or inspiration to keep trying to help him escape the glitched world.
Although Standby had moments of fun, they were few and far between; it was not entirely for me. It often felt like a test of reflexes rather than an actual game. The asking price of $4.99 is not overly expensive if you are a huge fan of difficult platformers. Players with great reflexes that enjoy fast-paced platforming may enjoy this game; players who don’t enjoy them should definitely steer clear.
Review: Standby (Nintendo Switch)
Standby lacks that connection that makes you care about the tend goal. It got to the point where the levels were so difficult I couldn’t care less about what happened to the little guy in the pea-green trench coat. I didn’t have the motivation or inspiration to keep trying to help him escape the glitched world.