Milli loses her cat, Greg, one-hundred times over the course of Milli & Greg. At what point will she accept that Greg is a flipping cat, and has a loose definition of the term ‘lost’? Greg will probably be back later that evening with a half-eaten sparrow and some questionable stuff in his fur.
Milli & Greg is a textbook precision platformer, but with a level of presentation that’s a step above the average. If you’ve dashed your brains out against Super Meat Boy, you will know what’s happening here. It’s a whole host of levels, set primarily on one screen, where you have to get from A to B, except B is blocked by lasers, spikes and rotating plasma balls of death.
There’s some fluffy theming stuff about Greg being an old cat who keeps getting lost and Milli looking to find him, but you could swap out Greg for anything else and you wouldn’t lose much. He’s just the goal you are aiming for. There is no real story to speak of, so this is more a jukebox of precision-platforming levels.
What initially sets Milli & Greg apart is how good it looks. We’re not going to overdo the superlatives here – it merely looks a cut above the average – but the interfaces, soundtrack, colourful levels and characters are all well done. There’s clearly a lot of love lavished on this release.
There’s also a heap of content here, for an absolutely bargainous price of £3.29. We’re talking 100 levels across five themes, and almost every one is a poser that will take several tries to complete. That’s not accounting for collectibles, with cherries and cat portraits tucked into the hard-to-reach corners of each level. If you chase these, you can add even more longevity to the package.
The collectibles are Milli & Greg’s finest moments. They’re the equivalent of additional difficulty modes: you can choose to chase after them, but they will require cat-like reflexes. Should you find them impossible to reach, you can just say ‘stuff it’ and go after the much-easier Greg. It’s a simple approach to ramping up difficulty without blocking a player from progressing.
We skipped the collectibles for another reason. Milli & Greg is a whole lot of ‘muchness’. There’s so much to do here, so many levels, and the ideas are spread thinly over the top. It means that things can get repetitive, and we often had to put down the pad out of a weariness and sense of ennui. With some editing, condensing the levels down, we can’t help but wonder whether the experience would have been more enjoyable.
A note for achievement hunters, too: Milli & Greg is not a game that will spew forth Gamerscore. It’s restrained on that front, and expects full-blown completion before it starts handing out rewards. It shouldn’t matter, but there are enough people who care.
The daunting size and repetition of Milli & Greg is made more palatable by the controls. There’s not a whole lot that’s new about Milli’s abilities – the closest to ‘interesting’ is a rush-like move with the X button – but jumping, wall-climbing and rushing is still claw-sharp. We can’t fault the controls, which is clearly a good thing: the action gets excruciatingly difficult and precise as levels go on.
Milli & Greg is a precision platformer with a large amount of style, a bargain price and way too many levels. In many ways, it’s like Greg the cat himself: this is flabby and lacks any new tricks, but it’s also cute as a button and has some claws in terms of difficulty. Stroke if you dare.
You can buy Milli & Greg for £3.29 from the Xbox Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S