XBLIG Review: Slick – Mario finally ditched Peach

Slick by Halcyon Softworks is a nostalgic platformer with a cruel sense of humor and vindictive levels. For all events and purposes, Slick is Super Mario Bros. with smaller levels, a zoomed out view and no princess to save.


Slick is a throw-back platformer and is constantly hitting you over the head with the fact. The graphics are in greyscale, reminiscent of the original Gameboy. The map is in 2D. The music is chiptune/ 8-bit. The enemies constantly pace back and forth. Constant dangers lurk for you behind every corner, and you will die… a lot. It will undoubtedly bring back some crazed memories of playing through Super Mario Bros. 3 with a two liter of Mountain Dew and some friends on a beat-up CRT tv that weighed more than a dozen Nintendo systems and their R.O.B. add-ons.

The difficulty of Slick lies not in its controls but in the ability to pull off the jumps and tricks to get to the exit. Slick is a quite the platformer filled with platforms you need to jump to in order to reach a door somewhere on the map. The jumps are not terribly difficult to make, but you will constantly find yourself missing platforms, over/under-jumping, hitting spikes and evil turtles and, overall, stinking at the game. Also, once you make a jump, if you hold the jump button too long, you make another jump upon landing. So, you should make sure to quickly release the button, or gracefully maneuver your jump to not kill yourself once you land.

With the constant dying, Slick manages to implement something that is extraordinarily beneficial – infinite lives. So, even though you will die 20 times on a particular jump, you never have to really start from scratch. The game also has remarkable load time after each death, so you won’t be waiting around for the game to load for more time than actually playing it. Trial and error is the name of the game in some of the latter levels and the infinite lives come in handy.

The game is the ultimate in cruelty and will blatantly lie to you about dying. Since the game briefly pauses after each death, you can see how you die. More times than not you made a bad jump and you hit something you should not have hit. Other times, however, you can clearly see you were safe and a good line judge would definitely come in handy. This will likely be fixed in an upcoming update, but for now, it is an annoying feature that will have to be overcome.

The game really needs well-timed jumps and careful planning. You will unlikely have a successful, quick run through Slick because reckless abandonment just does not work in the game. Jumps, especially on enemy occupied platforms, should probably be planned and timed, because these parts will create problems and be the cause of multiple failures.

Another complaint with Slick is the fact you have to go through each level one by one. If you are stuck on a level, you are stuck because you have to complete it before you can continue. This becomes an issue if you couldn’t get past the first few levels of Super Mario Bros. 3 and were never formally introduced to Bullet Bill, as Sick is much more difficult.

Slick is perfect for those that have long completed the old Super Mario Bros.  games and want to revel in the feeling of playing those classics again. It is still enjoyable for those who have never encountered the series as well since it still poses a great challenge that, while frustrating, bring a sense of pride and accomplishment once each level is complete. Just be warned this game is as cruel as it is charming and frequent outbursts of anger and rage will follow suit.


Final Rating: 7.5/10


CBR Break Down:

Console Played On: XBLIG

Time to completion: a long time

Gamer Score Earned: N/A

Price Bought at: A code was provided by Gimbal Lock Studios

Current Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)

Recommend Purchase Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)

Why you should buy it: If you are longing for some brutal platformer gaming.

Why you shouldn’t buy it: If you were never able to kill a Goomba.



About Steve Lesniewski

Steve lives in Chicago and recently graduated from the University of Illinois. He has been fascinated with video games since his ninth birthday when he received a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Blue. He loves following sports and cheers win or lose for the Bears, Bulls and the Fighting Illini, who include the 2012 men’s gymnastic national champs as well as the 2011 women’s volleyball national runner-up.