Standing out thanks to its original Gameboy visual charm, Awesome Pea 2 is a simple platformer that offers moments of challenge, only costs a few bucks, and is perfect for Achievement hunters. It isn’t as difficult as something like Super Meatboy or those brutal levels in Super Mario Maker, but this reach-the-exit platformer is playable from beginning to end even though there isn’t much flavor.
The only ability the playable pea has is jumping and double jumping. Using this one skill, the player is tasked to reach the exit point of each stage, collecting basic gems along the way. This is a casual experience through and through. There are no leaderboards, although the game does keep track of fastest completion time for personal satisfaction and speed running, and there are no unlockables, bonuses, offensive capabilities, or features of any kind. Much like Sometimes You’s Bomberman clone Explosive Jake, you are getting a very straightforward experience – beat the level and move on to the next. There is no story, no princess to save, and no RPG stats to upgrade.
Thankfully, the platforming contains some thoughtful design and blind jumps and unfair enemy placement is kept to a minimum. The challenge comes from the way the pea jump. It doesn’t matter if the jump button is tapped or held, the pea jumps with the same height each time, including the double jump. In a way, this makes the platforming experience more like Flappy Bird as the player needs to compensate for the static height of each leap. It can be a little frustrating at times but the stage design mostly accommodates for this jump restriction so most instances of death is the player’s fault. There are no checkpoints but each stage is short, usually only a minute or so in length. Visually, the game looks like a pea soup Gameboy game and the soundtrack sounds exactly like the chiptunes in Explosive Jake. There is a scanline filter to make the game look especially old school if that is your jam.
There isn’t much to say about Awesome Pea 2 because there isn’t much happening here. As basic and barebones as they come, this platformer is a decent way to burn a couple hours and a few bucks if you are in the market to boost your Gamerscore.
Also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch. A Vita version is also planned for 2020.