The Manipulator – There are pretenders… er umm… manipulators among us!

“There are people among us who call themselves Manipulators. These Manipulators can take control of your mind and use you. They are a threat to us; we must get rid of them at once! Be alert! Do not trust anybody!” This is the blurb offof the Virtanen Games website for their, somewhat odd, platformer called “The Manipulator“.


This strange little game for all intents and purposes is a standard jump’n’run platform game, and yet it’s not so standard.  Someone had commented about another game, that shall remain nameless, stating it was just like every other nintendo platform scroller he had ever seen.  He also stated, he doesn’t mind doing the same thing over again, but just that it should have an original story about why he’s doing the same things over again.  I think The Manipulator would fit that just perfectly.  Well ok, granted, it doesn’t have much of a story.  Or at least, if it does have a story, I didn’t get it just yet.

Really simple, try to get to the exit, using the arrow keys to move, z to jump, x to manipulate an enemie, or to activate, or shoot.  You don’t start with any weapons yourself, just the ability to manipulate enemies.  You basically have to move around the level, avoid being shot by enemies with guns, and there was some sort of turret on the wall that could shoot at any angle.  I haven’t been able to get past that yet.


The graphics and sound are really simple as well.  It reminded me of several old games, such as lode runner, and jumpman.  There’s no real music to speak of in the game, just some sort of incessant noise in the background.  This was the only real draw back to this interesting little game.  I didn’t get past sector 1-3, and it was sort of a brown, monchromatic color scheme, but when viewing the trailer you can see other sectors have different colors, still monochromatic.  In fact this was one of the things I wanted to do in my games.  Some old games had switching color schemes when you changed levels.  I think this sort of works to keep it addicting because it stimulates some area of the brain.  The feel is almost retro.  I could honestly seeing this being implemented on a c64, with somewhat less, graphical flair.


When I first heard about this, I was a bit annoyed.  My game Hypno-Joe is about a character who manipulates his enemies by hypnotizing them.  So I was  a bit dismayed to find out there were other games doing this same thing.  Even the game Cortex Command (maybe I’ll review that in an upcoming post) does this same thing.  That’s sort of the way of things.  If you’re thinking of it, chances are there are hundreds or thousands more that thought up the very same thing at the very same moment you did.  Of course my game will be a bit different.  But I digress.


Some people have complained about it being not varied enough, and maybe getting a little boring.  I haven’t played it that long, but I think it’s still a decent game.  I mean hundreds of games are similar to each other in game play mechanics or appearance, and yet people don’t always say they’re boring for it.  If you like jump’n’run’s give this one a try.  It’s a bit of the old mixed with a bit of the unique.

Name: The Manipulator

Final Analysis:  Taking the standard platformer and adding a bit of a twist, pretty interesting, if not fun.

Price: Free

Where you can get it: Virtanen Games

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