With flashes of Sonic Mania, Celeste, and Super Meat Boy, this out-of-nowhere indie gem might be one of the best 2D platformers I've ever played

(Image credit: KO.DLL)

It takes a lot for a game to make me drop everything else and immediately play it after one glance, but that's just the kind of gravitational pull that Bzzzt, an awkwardly named platformer released earlier this month, has had on me. I was hooked from the first screenshot I saw this morning; the 100% positive user reviews were just the cherry on top. After beating the demo, I think my first impression was dead-on: this might be one of the best 2D platformers I've ever played. 

Bzzzt is the work of solo dev Karel Matejka, or developer KO.DLL on Steam. It's Steam-only for now, and $11.99 at full price. The free demo has a solid dozen levels to explore, and that's been more than enough to sell me on it.

Let's get one thing out of the way now. Bzzzt has some of the best art I've ever seen in a 2D game. Like, ever, especially for pixel art. This is some peak Mega Man stuff. Like, Sonic Mania-level stuff. The levels I've beaten haven't been very big, but they're all absolutely bursting with personality and energy. 

ZX8000, your tiny little robot hero, toddles and jumps and double-jumps and air-dashes through beautifully colored, thickly detailed environments with stunning backgrounds and vibrant set pieces. It's so incredibly lush and active, but never busy or overwhelming. Every inch of this game, from the hazards and enemies to collectibles and the simplest of blocks, positively pops, yet the visual language of the platforming never gets muddied. 

It controls like a dream, too, again bringing Mega Man to my mind but – especially in the later levels shown in the trailer – with a hefty dash of Celeste's mid-air platforming. I devoured the demo without a hitch, and I've half a mind to go back to beat all the gold medal time trials. 

Bzzzt immediately feels intuitive, and it feels good. Your jump arc is smooth and controllable, the momentum on the double-jump is perfect, hazards are fair and clearly communicated, and respawning is lightning-quick and brings that Super Meat Boy flow state to the party. I am hungry, starving to see the rest of this game. It's got 114 100% positive user reviews so far, and if it keeps this up, I'll be adding another thumbs up to the pile here soon. 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.