Warlock Bentspine

By: Derek Yu

On: August 18th, 2010

Warlock Bentspine by Lazrool

Warlock Bentspine is a new platformer from Lazrool, the creator of Poyo and Banana Nababa. As the guardian of Stinker City, you’re charged with the task of hunting down the three members of the Jihad Gang so you can reveal the location of their elusive boss. Each criminal you take down will give you a new weapon with which to fight the war on terror.

For me, the boss battles are the real star of this game. The levels, while visually very appealing, can be somewhat tedious to traverse. This is partly because the levels don’t introduce much variety from room to room and partly because the player can respawn indefinitely in the room he or she died in, removing a lot of the game’s challenge. There is a slight penalty for dying: you only respawn with half of your total health. But there was never much incentive to start a level over.

However, I really like Bentspine’s humor as well as the variety of weirdos you have to fight through in each level. And the boss battles, while not as epic as the ones in Banana Nababa, are a treat – especially the row you have with the game’s final villain. I just wish the levels were a little more interesting. Even some vertically-scrolling sections would have made a big difference, in my opinion.

The game’s soundtrack, by Phlogiston, is available from Pause Music, and features cover art by FrankieSmileShow, who also contributed character portraits to the game.

TIGdb: Entry for Warlock Bentspine
Playthrough: Ortoslon

  • Lega

    Overall I enjoyed the game but only due to the bosses; otherwise, the game is simply a repetitive, side-scrolling platformer with very little going for it. However, the enemy designs are fairly imaginative and I feel that it had the potential to be a very engaging and interesting game if not for the tedious feeling to each level.

    I will say that I enjoyed the pixel art immensely, though.

  • flyboy95

    Please, no more platformers. Please. Unless they're done exceptionally well, they're just becoming old.

  • Skofo

    -Level design

  • Stee.

    No, how about people who want to make independent games should make whatever genre of game they want, and not pander to critics.

    Complaining about a freeware game not being what you want it to be is obnoxiously nonsensical. Make your own game if you don't like what you see others doing.

  • Stee.

    Whoops, I forgot to thank Lazrool for releasing a free video game for strangers in the world to play and bring happiness to.

    As far as I'm concerned, releasing free artwork, especially free video games, is an innately humanitarian and generous act. The main reason I come to websites like TIGsource is because the notion of free, or otherwise relatively cheap, games can be shared and loved by strangers. How beautiful!

  • bombboy

    Your frustration is noted.

    But there will be more platformers. And after that there will be more platformers.

  • handbanana

    I think the levels are quite good and the graphical style is just awesome. Truly great in all aspects imo. Hope to see more from this guy.

  • Syrion

    Oh boy. You can shoot up and down?..
    It wasn't until the second last of the final bosses that I learned this. Considering how close this is to Megaman, the thought just never occured to me, and it was never necessary. Only, the first boss would have been so much less frustrating, and I would have been able to easily defeat the third one without using an “exploit” and thinking that the game is just too hard…

    It's a very, very harmonious package overall, but I didn't find it great. Despite the stages' being too unchallenging, I would've especially liked the weapons to be more creative. Though, it's nice to play through and fun while it lasts.
    If you actually know about all controls, that is. Duh…

  • JohnObvious


    The final boss Allah

    (sry if he really is the final boss)

  • rinkuhero

    i notice lazrool's last name is virtanen; is he related to the virtanen brothers, who made various game maker games?

  • browncoat

    I really like the art but as a rather casual platform gamer this game is way too hard for me…

  • Daniel

    Who would have guessed zx spectrum-style graphics would be back in style? OK, I confess I like it :-)

  • flyboy95

    I feel that I owe you, and Lazrool an apology. I commented in haste, intrigued by the title but slightly disappointed by my personal slight dislike of the genre. I sometimes forget how much is given to us, with nothing asked in return but enjoyment. I shall try harder in the future.

  • .+.

    idk i felt as though this was kind of lacking.
    everything just kind of felt like filler

  • http://twitter.com/remoteryan ryaaaan saaaands

    unrelated to this post but, Am I crazy or is there no search box anywhere on the top page of tigSOURCE?

  • rinkuhero

    i use google

    site:tigsource.com [search term]

  • http://twitter.com/moshboy moshboy

    Yeah but how do you limit it to the front page without forum search results?

  • rinkuhero

    just add a -forums thing

    for instance

    “site:tigsource.com immortal defense -forums”

    returns a frontpage mention of immortal defense but no forum entries

  • Guest

    What about a simple search box, like on every site, and which is recommended each and every time web usability is being discussed?

  • http://www.derekyu.com Derek Yu

    1. Yes, you are crazy!

    2. It got lost when we moved the site from Typo to WordPress.

    3. I don't know why it hasn't been added back yet, but I'm afraid to do it myself because last time I tried I broke something deep inside the website's heart. :'(

    4. I'll ask Matthew to add it back when he has time.

  • rinkuhero

    see derek's answer below

  • DalaranJ

    I feel like this game taught me a valuable lesson about why most games have powerups in them.

  • rinkuhero


  • DalaranJ

    In this game the regular rooms can seem tedious, because the optimal player behavior is: Reach the far door at minimum health cost.

    So the mindset of the player is very straightforward, and they want to avoid every enemy they can as much as possible. This was actually a complaint that some people leveled at parts of herocore as well, although I feel like herocore dealt with it better.

    By introducing “sitting” powerups you can make the player's decisions more complex. It is worth any amount of health for me to get further through a level, but what level of health is it worth for me to get the power to spit fireballs for 30 seconds?

    Alternately, spawning powerups on enemy death eases the risk of fighting enemies changing the decision from “Is the best way to not get hurt by this enemy avoiding it or killing it?” to “Can I break even when I fight this sort of enemy? Am I willing to bet on whether he has the powerup I need?”

    I'm not just trying to rag on this game. If it didn't have this quirk, I would never have had such an epiphany.

  • Lazrael

    I can see why you'd think the levels seem somewhat tedious and I'll keep all this critique in mind if/when I make something like this again.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/indie-games mosh

    Can't say I totally trust that method.. it seems to only bring up very specific results (as in if you search for robot, it won't bring up robotz dx, even though it contains the word robot within it) that are included in the titles of frontpage posts, not in the text itself (for example Bloody Zombies was mentioned in a post and using the above method to search did not bring it up for me. Ah well. Can only hope it gets added back soon.