By: ithamore

On: January 25th, 2011

[This is a guest review by John Sandoval. To submit a guest article for TIGSource, go here.]

Edit: You might want to avoid the video if you don’t want to see any spoilers. /Edit

Nothing is as it seems in the world of suteF. Though what you see is a fairly standard puzzle-platformer (crates are pushed, ledges are climbed, and exits are ultimately reached), suteF is at its core a game that takes every opportunity to mess with the player as much as possible. A miscalculated jump can trigger cracks in reality; a single step could erase your path from existence. Entire dimensions can open up from the void. And this tension, this uncertainty, this feeling that anything can happen at any time, is what makes playing suteF an experience worth having.

The successor to creator Ted Lauterbach’s earlier work (titled Fetus), suteF places you once again in the role of an admittedly doughy little blue man named Aramas. Trapped in a hellish dimension, you must progress through five sets of levels, using your wits and Aramas’ limited skillset to solve increasingly complex puzzles and hopefully find a way out. Aramas has at his disposal three individual abilities— jumping, crate pushing, and grappling onto nearby surfaces with his trusty grappling hook. However, the game takes great delight in stripping you of any of these abilities when you least expect it, keeping you on your toes. In addition to Aramas’ inherent abilities, your greatest asset in escaping the world of suteF comes from the warped nature of the dimension itself. To put it simply, walking off one end of the screen leads you to the other; falling off the bottom of the screen loops you back to the top. Exploiting these spatial impossibilities can turn an otherwise impassable chasm into a mere few steps in the other direction. The resulting puzzles are exceptionally clever, forcing the player to make full use of all of Aramas’ paltry abilities in a multitude of ways. You’d be surprised just how much gameplay suteF ekes out of these relatively simple mechanics.

Every element in suteF is crafted to make the player feel as if the world could tear apart at any moment. From the constant screen static to sudden changes in the levels themselves, you’re never sure if what you’re playing is a glitch or the actual game. Some might call this a lack of polish—but I feel that the game is far more interesting for it.

suteF is available for download from GameJolt. It takes about one to two hours to beat; the various secret levels can double that time. All in all, it’s a very, very good game.

  • ithamore

    I know this was included in the TIGForum's Top Games for 2010 post, but John Sandoval went through all the trouble to write a nice review for us. Also, I liked playing the game.

  • tijit

    Looks awesome. Is it spelt wrong in the title?

  • Gabriel Verdon

    So is it called setuF or suteF? I'm assuming suteF since that is Fetus backwards, but the article is called setuF.

  • Mathieu F.

    It's called suteF indeed (Fetus spelled backwards) & yes it's awesome, one of my favorite indie game of late 2010/early 2011. Highly recommended if you like VVVVVV, Time Fcuk or any game with a haunting gloomy atmosphere.

  • ithamore

    suteF. It's fixed now.

    Sorry. That's what I get for having dyslexic tendencies. I have to be even more careful with reciting longer numbers, but breaking them up into small groups or pairs helps with that.

  • googoogjoob

    i beat all the secret levels the day this game came out and there is still no chapter e :|

  • joehonkie

    Did he ever fix the bug where you start of with broken leg on one of the secret levels? I was never able to beat it because of that.

    Otherwise a great game.

  • Snowyowl

    There is no chapter e. The creator says it might come out in a later release, depending on how well the game does.

  • Steve

    Still have to try this one out. Loved the original.

  • Stragomog

    If it makes a difference, I have a hard time finding time to try out all of the indie games I want to. This was one of the ones that made that time spent worthwhile. Fantastic game. You do yourself an injustice if you pass it by.

  • googoogjoob

    i know

    the game was apparently so popular it crashed gamejolt or something but there is still as yet no later release

  • John Sandoval

    Holy shit, I was wondering when this would be put up.

  • John Sandoval

    That was one of the glitches I encountered when playing through the game… I ended up having to delete the save files and start over.

  • InfestedRabite

    Is there some way to save progress? Lost most of my game when I had to leave (accidentally found one of the secret levels and couldn't beat it)

    to be honest i'm not thrilled about playing through it again because it's so slow, even for puzzles where you can see the solution it takes ages to complete. something about the atmosphere and dialogue was just too cheesy as well, i didn't really feel scared by this game unlike all our friends are dead / au sable which still terrify me to this day with their…otherworldliness, i can't really explain it.

  • John Sandoval

    The game should save automatically after you beat each level of the stage.

  • John Sandoval

    Heh, thanks.

  • Disposable

    The broken Leg 'bug' actually comes down to a 'decision' you make, and your 'choices' factors whether or not you get the bum leg.

  • Prophecy03

    So because of whatever choice I made, the level Shaft is unplayable? What level do I need to go back to to fix that?