Buried among the myriad of indie games at PAX East was a hidden gem: "Fenix Rage" by Green Lava Studios. This addictive fast-paced platformer is one part "Super Meat Boy" meets both "Flappy Bird" and "Sonic the Hedgehog." If you don't mind dying a hundred times within mere minutes and have a slightly masochist personality, then you'll find "Fenix Rage" highly rewarding.
Fenix is angry, and hell-bent on retribution. You'd be in a rage too if your village was utterly destroyed. Only a mysterious figure named Oktarus survived the devastation, and you're chasing after him to know the truth of what happened. In each level as you reach Oktarus you're transported to a new level.
Controls are simple, with an unlimited jump and dash to speed your way through the map. You'll have to dash left or right in order to break through barriers, and in later levels slide down walls of lava to bust through blocks of ice. Along the way there's a gamut of hazards to avoid such as immobile obstacles, enemies (usually moving in a pattern), being shot at, chased, and more. Dying will set your character back at the beginning, which may become frustrating when you've come across a particularly challenging level.
Words don't adequately describe the fast fun action, your best bet is to to check out the attached trailer for yourself.
Performance is measured by how long it takes you to reach each level's goal, the number of deaths you've accrued, and if you've collected a challenge cookie. As the number of cookies you gather increases you'll unlock achievements, additional levels, and two alternative endings. You'll also score some sweet recipes to try your hand on baking delicious cookies to eat in real life. Tasty.
One of the biggest reasons we enjoyed "Fenix Rage" is is the art style, which mixes vibrant and colorful backgrounds in a throw-back to early 90's games found on the Genesis and TurboGrapfx 16 (remember "Bonkers," anyone?). After spending almost half an hour with the title, we only managed to get through the first 12 stages after dying literally a couple hundred times. With 9 worlds and over 200 levels, "Fenix Rage" will is guaranteed to keep you busy for quite some time, and we're looking forward to dashing our way through the rest - at least until we throw our controller across the room in frustration first.