A Palace for Fools

A Palace for Fools is a browser-only 2D platformer/Metroidvania.

The games story is inspired by the story of the Tower of Babel: A highly engineered civilization created a floating palace to take the place of their previous, seemingly gratuitous goddess – and was consequently destroyed. You take the role of a lone survivor, awakened from a long lasting sleep – and it is unclear for what exactly you strive. Will you make peace with the deity or are you going to fulfill the aspirations of your people? By wandering through the ruined palace, you recover both insight in the earlier events and useful artifacts.

The game is set in plain but beautifully cast pixel graphics; thanks to many additional objects and a well chosen color scheme it is a eye catcher with clear inspiration from SNES- and Gameboy-era Megaman and Zelda games accompanied by a fitting, groovy music and very satisfying SFX. These nostalgically charged aesthetics pair perfectly with the games story and setting, that are both spot on in their youthful naivety and coolness.

The difficulty is balanced – the fluid movement is fluent enough to support the platformer elements of the gameplay, and the simplicity of the enemies is compensated by some pretty vile placement at some points. The level design is labyrinthine and purposely confusing – also, you’ll need fully utilize your options and think a bit outside of the box to complete the game; but this is neither unfeasible nor frustrating, as the overall length of the game is limited (~1,5h).

When it comes to this genre, one is fast to assume that there are countless well made exponents around – but in reality, most of them lack in their execution in the one way or another. Not so here: While there aren’t any flashy mechanics, twists, or big surprises this game is pretty well made in every aspect and all aspects interlock very well with each other. If you are longing for well executed game design and aren’t opposed to good old retro charm, this game will offer you a perfect storm.

The developer did more games, apparently with a similar technical foundation, and surely worth to be checked out.

„A Palace for Fools“ is open-source (license unclear) and done in HTML5. Worked flawless in Firefox using OpenSuse Leap.

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