Platypus is a fairly standard sidescrolling space shooter with an unusual visual style – the entire game is done with claymation. I’m a big fan of claymation so I got a real kick seeing it in shooter form, watching ships explode into fountains of clay over the colorful countryside.
Unfortunately, games aren’t just about visuals and in the gameplay department, Platypus is nothing special. It has the full assortment of features you’d expect in this sort of game like different weapon powerups, ways to boost your score, and screen filling bosses, but the game suffers from being overly repetitive. There are a few interesting level ideas here and there like a minefield where reckless shooting might not be your best idea, but the whole thing feels drawn out with too many sections where you are just shooting the same enemies over and over. I think the game really would have benefited if it had concentrated the game into fewer, but more intense levels.
The game starts out rather tame on all three difficulty levels, but the difficulty goes up at a steady pace. Unfortunately, cheap deaths are common. Not only does your ship’s hit-box seem to be a little too large, but there were several instances where I died due to a surprise attack from behind or when a cloud obscured an enemy. One particularly annoying segment involving a volcano shooting lava rocks – a good idea in practice, but less than enjoyable when most of the difficulty comes from having a hard time distinguishing between the deadly foreground rocks and the harmless background rocks.