Speed Limit is a simplistic, hard-as-nail, 2D non-stop genre-warping arcade experience that’s always going pedal to the metal where each level is a different genre. The goal of each level is to make it through as quickly as possible and also avoid dying as much as you can… unfortunately, you will die… A LOT. But the sad thing is, most of the time, it won’t necessarily be because of the game’s difficulty… even on Easy this game will test your skills and patience.
Speed Limit is, at first, easy and pretty simple to pick up and play: always run, shoot everything in sight and jump when necessary. Enemies will come barging in from all sides to try and stop you; you have to be quick and do like Han Solo and shoot first at all times. The first level is set on a train where enemies will shoot from all sides; typical Contra-like sequence.
One of the game’s strengths is definitely the level variety and how seamless the transition is between one another. While at first you’re running and gunning through a train, once you survive that, you’ll jump into a car and the game suddenly turns into an homage to a Spy Hunter-like game with its top-down driving perspective.
One of the main problems however of constantly jumping from one genre to another is the controls as they obviously won’t be the same from one level to another. The first level’s running and gunning is pretty straightforward, run with the left joystick, shoot with the Right Trigger and jump. But once you jump into the car, you have barely a few seconds to figure out how to adapt to the slightly new controls; I assumed I could aim with the left joystick only to realize after a few deaths that it slows the car down and you need to aim with the right joystick. The switch to a 2-wheeler is not easier.
While this all sounds easy and simple, it’s not. And unfortunately, it’s not even because the game is *that* hard, it’s mostly because of the questionable design. In the train level, you’ll have a brief moment where you’ll be literally in the dark, meaning you can’t see your character but more importantly enemies and incoming projectiles. Given that in this game it’s 1-hit death, that can lead to multiple unfair and frustrating deaths. Same thing with the over-the-top driving level; you’ll drive under an overpass (or hell even somehow fall behind out of view because the screen moves faster if you happen to brake) and in a fraction of a second you don’t see your ride, a projectile can easily take you out. The level design sucks out the fun of what could’ve been a fair and challenging game.
Speed Limit embodies the classic 2D 8-bit presentation, visual and soundtrack-wise. As mentioned above, the game features a handful of level diversity and they have a slightly different color palette from one to another. The soundtrack is a pretty annoying EDM/Electro score that sounds like something you’ll already heard in the past.
While I was expecting to enjoy Speed Limit knowing this would not be an easy challenge, I found myself constantly frustrated by the wave of cheap deaths caused by questionable designs within each level. To be honest, I love the concept, it reminded me of 198X and I remember loving that game because of the constant genre switch. The concept is fun but marred by cheap deaths. I don’t recommend it but try at your own risk!