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Sir! I’d Like To Report a Bug! Review

A Retro World Gone Mad

· · @nadiaoxford

Blessed are the game testers. They suffer the most repetitive job on earth so that we won’t run into bugs that permanently turn our Level 90 dragonborn hero inside-out. Sir! I’d Like To Report A Bug! is a side-scrolling retro-style game that follows the adventures of Reggie, a game tester whose work literally follows him home. The game’s concept is fun and original, but the actual product could stand a little extra testing itself.

Don’t Bug Me

Reggie is a game tester who knows his stuff. That’s why the company he works for grants him the honor of being the first to test a virtual reality headset. Unfortunately, the headset goes kablooey and sows glitches throughout the real world. Reggie doesn’t think much of the incident—at least not until cats start gushing out of random crevices throughout the city.

Things only get weirder from there. Each level you play through is a day in Reggie’s life, and you need to guide him safely between work and home. This is easier said than done: The virtual reality accident has caused lava flows to seep through the city, to say nothing of jumping buildings, flying debris, incidents involving gravity reversal, and lots more weirdness. Even the sun gets mighty cheesed off at one point and begins belching fireballs at Reggie.

You need to guide Reggie around these hazards, which is done by moving him left and right, and jumping as necessary. More importantly, Reggie also needs to file bug reports to wipe out the hazards that tormented him on that particular day. Oh, the sun’s out for blood? No problem, the kids down in development will do something about that. It’s too bad bug-testing is like killing a hydra: When you get rid of one problem, two more spring up in its place.

I’d Like to Report Mushy Controls

The bug reports in Sir! I’d Like To Report a Bug! are a neat idea, as they add all kinds of new challenges to Reggie’s otherwise mundane commute between work and home. That said, the game’s mechanics need a bit of fine-tuning.

The controls are troublesome; if you move and jump at the same time, there’s a fifty-fifty chance you’ll succeed. The rest of the time, you just move forward and directly into a nasty death. This means suffering through a lot of pitfalls, burns, spike traps—name it.

Worse, Sir! I’d Like To Report a Bug! boasts “old-school challenge” in the style of old NES games. That’s great, except said NES games also have razor-sharp controls. When Mega Man misses a jump, the problem is you, not your controller.

Also, death in Sir! I’d Like To Report a Bug! means being sent back to the beginning of the stage. Sure, old NES games are similarly merciless and repetitive, but even the original Super Mario Bros has mid-stage checkpoints.

There’s Promise

Sir! I’d Like to Report a Bug! offers an interesting concept, a dash of humor, and some neat ideas. It just needs considerable polish before it’s ready to ascend to the pantheon of classics it tries to emulate. The game is free, but its creators are taking donations so they can keep improving Reggie’s adventure. Consider throwing a few shekels their way. Do it for the good of all reality.

3.0 / 5

good

Sir! I’d Like to Report a Bug! has some good ideas, but poor controls squash the experience. tweet

Nadia Oxford · Oct 9, 2013

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