Parasite Pack, fleas and tapeworms and fun oh my
4.1Overall Score

Parasite Pack is a duo of games; Flea and Tapeworm Disco Puzzle. Yes. You read that correctly; Flea and Tapeworm Disco Puzzle.

It’s a very difficult review to write. Essentially, the two games in the Parasite Pack are games that would not be out of place on an Atari 2600.  Graphically, they are more basic than basic, and gameplay-wise, you would be hard pushed to find anything more simplistic. And these are games that you can buy for the PlayStation 5. How can you review that?

Let’s get the gameplay out of the way first.

Oh Woe is Flea!

Flea! has you in control of (you guessed it) a flea who can’t stop jumping. It is up to you to guide him around and collect blobs of blood while avoiding various obstacles and spikes that will instantly kill you. If you’ve ever played Super Meat Boy, you will know exactly what to expect. It’s a glorious and infuriating mix of simplicity, frustration and more-ishness, which will have you screaming at the television, hurling your controller and promising yourself you will just have “one more go”.

There is nothing taxing, nothing spectacular, nothing special but there is something alluring that will keep you coming back and wanting to get further and further on in the game. I wish I knew why, but I don’t. Bizarrely, it is the weaker of the two games in this collection though.

A Heart-Worming Tale

In a lovely bit of continuity, Tapeworm Disco Puzzle is set in the same universe as Flea! and has you playing as a tapeworm who needs to collect musical notes and audio tapes in order to progress through the levels, sometimes, helping the Flea! to collect blood blobs while avoiding spikes and other various dangers. All the while traversing different nightclubs to save a female flea.

This particular game plays a little like a version of Nokia’s Snake, but with foreplanning. As the tapeworm, you only have a limited amount of moves to make in order to traverse the level. You can gain extra moves by collecting cassette tapes (of course) and have to avoid obstacles like spikes, ice, maggots and wormholes (see what they did there?). Once you complete a few levels you have to encounter a boss level. This places you into a full-on traditional Nokia 2600 Snake level where you need to use your quick reactions.

In the two games, the mechanics are introduced so simplistically, that you barely feel you are learning anything, but they ramp up in such a subtle curve, that it makes it a joy to play.

The graphics for both games are so ridiculous. But purposely so. And they are charming. There are little cut scenes which make no sense but in the very best way. The sound is also sub-8-bit level but again, is so in keeping with the aesthetic that it’s impossible not to be enamoured with it.

Parasite Pack-man

I genuinely thought that I was going to hate this game. But despite myself, I have found myself loading Parasite Pack more than I have any other game this past month. It’s absolutely not a good game, but it is absolutely a great time sink and well worth having in your games catalogue. It is virtually incomparable to any of the more recent releases due to the intentionally simplistic and basic presentation and gameplay, but it delivers where it is most important.

It’s cheap.

It is easy to pick up.

It’s fun.

What more do you want in a game?

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About The Author

Grumpy Old Man. Believes things were better when he was young.

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