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Sacred Reviews: Torleif


"Torleif" is a platformer developed by Merte using The Games Factory, an old software for making games released back in 1996 for PC. Suffice to say this software is meant to be a powerful tool that would enable people to make games while not needing to be particularly knowledgeable about coding. Though, I've been told such knowledge is helpful. Though, I suppose I'm getting off track here and should focus on reviewing the game itself. Albeit this game is so hard I couldn't even complete the game's first level even with the power of infinite lives at my disposal.


You play as Torleif, a young boy, that gets turned into a bomb by Professor Maddoc's crazy machine. Unfortunately the machine explodes after transforming our hero into an explosive and has scattered several important pieces within the confines of the Fire Dimension. So if we ever want to get back to normal we'll need to find all of the key missing parts.

Greatest Strength/Weakness

On the plus side this project does open up with a short movie showing how Torleif was transformed. On the other side of things the opening movie and team logos take over four minutes to get through. Thankfully you can skip the opening movie if you want, but that still means you'll be subjected to about two minutes worth of content that is impossible to avoid. In other words it takes way too long to get to the part of the game where you can actually do anything in my opinion.


The game features some pretty basic controls where you use shift to jump while using the arrow keys to move left and right. And when you die you can either press the y key to continue or the n key to return to the game's title screen. Where the game falls apart is that the game's jump mechanics require the player to be very precise because most platforms and enemies are hard to reach or just barely clearable. An issue that could have been easily fixed by giving Torleif a higher jump. At any rate the byproduct of Torleif's short jumps is that this game is basically impossible and you'll frequently find yourself dying because of how unforgiving the jumps in this game are.

And sometimes the wonky hit detection in this game works for you and against you at times. In the above image I'm pretty sure I manage to clear the bad guy but I'm guessing the hit box for Torleif is a bit bigger than his sprite and it ends up screwing me over. In another instance it actually works in my favor.

As you can see I somehow get a grip on the side of the pit and didn't get killed by the lava and was able to jump back up to safety. Of course such fickle luck is not something you can rely on and as previously mentioned it can work just as much in your favor as against you. As a result it just makes you wish the hit detection in this game was better. Though I'm not familiar enough with this engine to know if the issues here are a byproduct of bad work on the part of the developer or a byproduct of the limits of the engine being used.


Graphically the game is pretty simple with everything being comprised of pretty basic geometrical shapes. Though the decision to include faces on the standard platform block is rather odd to me. I know the hills in "Mario" literally have eyes, but I don't think that look works as well when the faces are so up close and personal. Plus the color for the standard block is a pretty ugly shade of green in my opinion.


Sound wise the game uses a few standard sound effects as well as few music tracks. Though I'm not familiar enough with software that made this game to know if these came with the engine or were found online. Though, I'll admit the music in some places is pretty loud and makes me wish the game gave the player an obvious place to mess with the game's sound profile. Especially since I couldn't find a button to put the game in windowed mode in order to use the sound mixer to lower the game's volume to something more reasonable.


"Torleif" is a brutal platformer that isn't worth the effort to beat in my opinion. So much so that this game is a hard pass in my opinion. In fact, I'm still scratching my head over why the only other person to review this game at the time of writing gave it a three while simultaneously complaining about the first stage being impossible to clear.