Top Critic Average
Ultimately I'm left at a little bit of a loss with Poncho. It's a great concept, and when it's working it's a great inventive challenge, but when it goes downhill, it put a huge damper on my experience as a whole. I wanted to like it, but it was tough given some of the rough puzzle and level designs on show.
Still, this beautiful wrapper isn't enough to cover up Poncho's fundamental flaws. It's a lovely experiment and although it works well in some parts, an overall sense of cohesion is missing. Being able to move along the z-axis is a clever feature yet Poncho uses this as a crutch, failing to flesh out other essential areas of the game. In short, there's certainly something special here yet, sadly, only a minority will succeed in finding it.
Poncho is memorable with its lush pixel art and catchy music but also for its frustrating level design relying on a single infuriating mechanic.
Poncho is a fun but sometimes ponderous platform puzzler, with an impressive core mechanic and fun visuals that are slightly let down by moments of frustrating gameplay.
A wonderfully fresh take on the apocalypse with some stunning pixel-art visuals and pixel-perfect platforming, a handful of bugs and glitches occasionally infuriate but aren't enough to significantly compromise what is an otherwise tremendously enjoyable experience.
As fun as often as it is frustrating, Poncho is a hard game to recommend, even to 16-bit platformer super fans. You may be able to get some enjoyment out of it, and it certainly has an oddball charm, but ultimately, it fails to impress where it counts. The parallax layer hopping is neat and at times can be fun. Unfortunately, the game falters too often and descends into maddening tedium. Retro platformers may be stylish these days, but sadly, Poncho hasn't quite pulled it off.
There are times in which Poncho could've used some smoothing over, like with glitches or painfully missed jumps. That said, it's still an entertaining little treat for the retro crowd, especially those seeking something different from the usual platformer.
Poncho lives much more off its puzzles and mental reasoning demands than of platforming action - not to mention it features unlimited lives - and any potential for a fluid action game is lost in this.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Credit must be given to Delve Interactive for encouraging exploration in a genre that is regularly perceived as one of the most linear gaming experiences on offer. The complication of this depth is the fact the platforming and puzzle elements of Poncho become quite a test over time, and often require an excessive amount of trial and error. This title is not for faint-hearted players as a result; each puzzle and platform element can be cruel despite the infinite retry feature. There is no hand holding and there is no instantaneous sense of accomplishment or joy as you would receive from a more traditional platformer. Check out Poncho if you enjoy puzzle problem solving within a slower-paced platforming game environment, otherwise think carefully before trying it out.
Though shallow in its execution, the plane-switching mechanics of Poncho contain enough cleverness to prove intriguing. With a pleasingly melancholy atmosphere and beautiful pixellated visuals, the titular robot seems destined for a truly memorable side-scrolling puzzle platformer. Unfortunately, this is not it.