Some games stretch out for long periods of time, enveloping you in their worlds, drowning in you everything they have to offer. Some games can suck up hours and hours of your time, and seemingly wind on forever. Sigi doesn’t. Sigi is a game that doesn’t hang around, and it never overstays its welcome. It’s short, fleeting and over before you know it. But there’s also a lot to admire here. There’s a lot that the game gets right, and if you’re looking for an easy going experience that you can complete in a sitting, there are few better options out there.
You play as Sigi, a knight in shining armour, who’s on a quest to find the love of his life, Melusina. She goes missing after Sigi farts and knocks her into a pool of water. Yep, he farts. It’s in the title, so you probably should have seen that coming.
One thing that really stands out is the game’s sense of humour. It’s crass, silly and genuinely hilarious. The final boss actually made me laugh out loud. I won’t surprise it here, but it’s great. Some of the dialogue exchanged between the characters during certain battles is deliberately cheesy, and would be right at home in an ’80s action movie. See, Sigi never takes itself too seriously, and it makes sure to let you know that early on. If you want something darker or deeper, you’ve come to the wrong place. If there’s a frustration here, it’s that you wish there was more funny dialogue, but it’s understandable given the overall short length.
Sigi – A Fart for Melusina is somewhat reminiscent of the old Mario games in terms of the graphics. The 8-bit visuals are extremely bright and colourful, adding a real sense of charm. The music will transport you back to your childhood where you (maybe) spent hours playing those classic sidescrollers. Mario is also evoked through the gameplay, as you jump between moving platforms and kill enemies before they get you, either by throwing weapons at them or jumping on their heads. Most of the combat comes down to simple button mashing, which is responsive and works well. The enemies can do different types of damage too; some are quick and run straight at you, while others attempt to use ranged attacks from afar. You’ll also find that the foes you face evolve as the game wears on – initially, you’ll face off against slow moving zombies and spiders, but will eventually have to take on fast flying witches, pesky bats and skeletons who are hell bent on running right at you.
You can take a maximum of three hits before you die, and you earn more lives by simply finding them scattered through the levels, or picking up enough coins. Every 100 coins grants a new life. Another way to earn lives is to collect four tiles sprinkled throughout each level, which spell out Sigi. Adding a further sense of exploration is the presence of different caves, which usually have coin stashes and other collectibles hidden away. Different weapon pickups can be found throughout the game too, including flails, axes and sometimes, chicken legs. In any other game, this would be completely bizarre, but in this situation, it fits perfectly with the game’s irreverent tone.
Sigi most definitely has a frenetic pace to it, accentuated by its short length. You fly in against your enemies, button mashing until they’re all dead. When you die, you resurrect immediately close to where you died, and continue to do so until you run out of lives. The levels are incredibly short, and there aren’t many of them. How long they take you to run through will all depend on how much you choose to look around for those coins and hidden caves.
As mentioned before though, you’ll have fun doing so and the bosses in particular are hilarious – fairly straightforward to beat, but hilarious nonetheless. You’re effectively given the strategy of how to beat the bosses by the game, so there’s no real challenge involved. But this isn’t a game that you play because you want something hard. You play this because it’s a fun, silly, indie title with a great sense of humour, plenty of fun platforming and some tight controls.
There’s also a fun challenge hinted at by one of the Achievements, which involves getting 100% completion on the game in under 30 minutes. That may sound ridiculous, but it is genuinely doable after a few playthroughs of nailing down the most efficient strategy to blitz through the levels, while still finding all the collectables. Finding some of the cleverly hidden secrets was, for me, what delivered some of the more satisfying moments. If you enjoy that sort of thing, of course.
There are plenty of games out there that offer long, involving experiences; think of the likes of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2. Sigi – A Fart for Melusina gives you the opposite of that, and it’s the type of game that we could all do with a bit more of. It never once overstays its welcome, and for however long it takes you to beat it, it’s a genuine blast. You just can’t help but wish there was a little bit more of it.