For the inexperienced, skiing down a black diamond slope can look fun, but healthy fear can keep them away and push them towards the bunny hill. Something in a similar vein, just less risky. There’s a lot of things that you know could be a lot of fun, but you aren’t willing to put the work in to do them at the highest level. Sigi – A Fart for Melusina is that same stunted activity, a fun simulation of the real thing.
It’s a dummied down version of some of the most imposing platformers of yesteryear, most notably the Ghosts ‘n Goblins games on the NES and SNES. While those games can look fun, any reasonable gamer knows full well just how difficult they are. What can someone do who likes the look of those games, but doesn’t want to put in the work to get that skilled? Enter Sigi, a fun, more relaxed, more digestible, retro-style platformer.
As with most traditional platformers, there isn’t much of a story here. You play as a knight who hears a beautiful mermaid singing. Before you can talk to her, she swims off. You spend the rest of your adventure chasing after her. It isn’t much of a driving factor, but one isn’t needed because the primary focus is on gameplay.
And that gameplay is rather stable. Sigi controls well, in jumping and firing the handful of secondary weapons he gets along the way. Those weapons are the main means for taking down a myriad of enemies, but you can also take the fight right to them and defeat foes by jumping on their heads. You’ll find a few different weapon types throughout the game but can only carry one at a time. Each controls somewhat differently, and it can be frustrating to accidentally pick one up that controls worse than what you had before. Even so, most enemies are very easy to get around, and only take a couple of hits to knockout, allowing you to breeze past even larger groups.
The boss battles are a treat and are also very difficult to get through without dying. You’re given three hearts for each life, and they’ll make quick work of those hits. While you’ll have likely stocked up plenty of lives by the time you face any of them to bash your way through, since the game provides generous checkpoints, you’ll still be pushed around quite a bit in the interim. Figuring out their patterns is easy, it’s the constant throw of enemies that make things tricky.
Just like the games it takes inspiration from, Sigi is presented in full pixel-art. While there isn’t anything otherworldly in the graphical department, the art style is pleasing to look at. Most settings are relatively similar, and the level design isn’t particularly engaging either. Most enemies are interesting enough to look at, and many of them are outright adorable. This isn’t the feature that will draw you into Sigi, but it definitely won’t drive you away.
The music is strong as well. There isn’t a huge variety with the soundtrack, but what is there is a joy to listen to. There’s also great sound design, specifically in the sound you get from destroying enemies, as well as the noises they make. That, combined with the rumble in the console versions, give even more incentive to rip through everything in your path.
As mentioned before, this game is very easy. My first playthrough took less than 45 minutes, and that included looking for secrets and collectibles. Each level has four letters, S-I-G-I, as well as a ton of coins. Finding each four provides an extra life at the end of the level, and wracking up coins will do likewise. Some of the letters in the levels are presented clearly on the main path, but some are hidden away in caves.
The only main difficulty you’ll find besides bosses is finding these caves, as often times they are hidden well. Anything else thrown your way in the game can be steamrolled quickly, and even inexperienced gamers shouldn’t find a lot of resistance here. This is a game that wants you to beat it. That being said, there is still plenty of fun to be had, especially for the price.
For anyone who likes the looks of the Ghouls ‘n Ghosts series but is warded away by its off-putting difficulty, Sigi – A Fart for Melusina is a terrific substitute. Everything looks, feels and sounds good, and while the game isn’t anything substantial to sink your teeth into, it perfectly provides an easier, simulated rendition of the traditional action platformer. There’s nothing here to blow you away, but it contains enough for a fun half hour worth the price of admission.