ScaryGirl began its life as an award-winning graphic novel, spawned collectible toys, evolved into a Flash game, and now finally found a home as a downloadable adventure on PSN. Its striking art-style may initially draw the eye, but ScaryGirl stands proudly on a foundation of tried and true gameplay. Several mechanics fumble, but the quirky platformer is a good game and worth a look for anyone who loves old-school challenges.
Animated 2D cut-scenes tell the tale of ScaryGirl's giant octopus guardian, a floating bunny who lives under her house, and a mysterious dream keeping ScaryGirl up at night. Overall the chase to the oblong-headed villain doesn't play a large role in the experience, but the art highlights the journey. ScaryGirl's stylish visuals paint imaginative characters and a diverse world of mountaintops, cities, oceans, and caves in a 2.5D style. Stark colors pop from the varied levels, and elements like traffic racing out of the background help shake up the monotony of side to side gameplay. While the animation doesn't hit that cartoon-come-to-life feeling, the overall aesthetics are beautiful.
In action, ScaryGirl's gameplay doesn't explode in the same stylish fashion its art does. This doesn't mean its stale, rather, it falls into the vein of loose-platformers like Donkey Kong Country where the precision of Mario doesn't factor in. With her tentacle-arm's ability to hover and grapple certain environmental objects, missing a jump doesn't mean certain death. Tentacle augments allow ScaryGirl to float across longer distances (to nab elusive heart containers and gems) or attack with more power. These abilities come from an in-game shop curated by an odd, green beast. Gem pick-ups throughout every level act as immediate currency, so the shop beast's absence on some levels makes upgrading difficult.