Standby bills itself as “a story of a small-time hustler who dives into a whole life challenge inviting to break through the world gone corrupted” which seems a tad grandiose when it’s really about hurtling through neon-bleached levels at break-neck speed, while dodging and overcoming obstacles as you go. Thing is, the latter is really good fun and, having spent a bit of time clambering through its nine-level demo—which also includes a Speedrun mode—I’m looking forward to seeing what it has to offer come full release next month.
When Standby lands on Steam on October 14, it’ll come packing 54 levels, an improved SpeedRun Mode, a Global Leaderboard, more glitchy electronic music than what’s already on offer, and collectibles that’ll demand you “push yourself beyond the limits to get ‘em all.”
Similar to the likes of N++ and Speedrunners, Standby is all about mixing speed with gravity and inertia as you pinball around its twisting stages. Certain surfaces mark instant death unless approached in certain ways, while others must be manipulated to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.
You’re also equipped with a gun which can be used to dismantle roadblocks along the way. Learning individual skills—like ‘force dashing’, for example—is straightforward enough, however levels gradually demand quick-fire combinations which become steadily trickier as you go.
Here’s how some of that plays out: