When a game begins with the beeping, and visuals, of a heart rate monitor, you know something’s up. Although in the case of DOLLY, a minimalistic platformer that’ll put your precision jumping skills to the test, for the most part, exactly what is going on… is a matter of interpretation. That said, the reason for certain things – like the spiked walls and bottomless pits – existing is pretty clear: to ensure the ride is anything but smooth. But why? Why indeed.
No instructions, no tutorial, no nonsense. From the moment its brief introduction, if you can even call it that, is over, you’re on your own. Not that there’s a lot to figure out, mind you, as the game mostly has you doing standard platforming, complete with double- and wall-jumping and the odd puzzle every now and then. The odd and very easy puzzle I’d say, but at least the pacing doesn’t come to a grinding halt at these then, so there’s that.
Now, as far as the story goes, as I mentioned earlier, it’s pretty much up to the player to make sense of it all, in that DOLLY is void of any cut-scenes or even text strings. Just you and a world in need of exploration. There were however moments when I had to stop and think about what had just happened, appeared, or even changed. An infrequent occurrence to say the least, but enough to be noticeable nonetheless.
After all was said and done, I exited the game with slightly mixed feelings regarding what had just transpired. Won’t spoil it, but I will say that on one side, it was entertaining, with just the right amount of challenge and a striking art style, while at the same time, its ‘message’ could have been more obvious. Or maybe I simply didn’t understand it? Maybe there was no deeper meaning, aside from what was shown as the end drew ever so nearer? Who knows. Either way, I’d recommend taking DOLLY for a spin.