Preface: Apologies for how negative this review is, but seeing this meh game on the front page for a month with so many awards has gotten to me.
This was pretty mediocre. I don't get what all the hype is about. Full disclosure: I quit playing not long after the first boss, but I believe that's more than a fair shake.
The music is good, but that's about all the praise I have for this. The sound effects are so obviously Chiptone presets. Chiptone is great, but you have to learn to use it, or at least fiddle with it a bit, to avoid your game sounding like every other quickie retro game jam project.
Pretty generic pixel art. I've definitely seen worse, and there's a good use of contrast. But the tileset is so bland and repetitive. The background is often 80% one or two solid colours. Every area basically looks the same. It just appears unfinished and empty.
The movement and controls are fine, but this game falls into a weird area in between puzzle-platformer and action-platformer that doesn't really satisfy either. It's too slow to be an action game, but too simple to be a puzzle game.
Why it fails as an action-platfomer: It's all about waiting. Waiting for spikes to recede, waiting for platforms to move, or waiting for a boss to kill itself. The plant enemies projectiles move so slowly that it feels like low-grade bullet-hell, but with gravity instead of the top-down movement that makes bullet-hell games feel fair and challenging. Not that it matters because there's virtually no penalty for death... most of the time. There is some bad check point placement where the player is forced to wait through a boring scrolling section before getting to the bullet dodging section that is actually difficult. It's like Super Meat Boy but with cycles that make you wait all the time instead of letting you back into the action immediately. The challenge of the first boss isn't dodging its attacks, but rather staying engaged until the fight is over. The level layouts are overly open and too straightforward, so there's very little choice in how the player approaches the challenge, thus there's very little variety on repeated attempts. You just have to do the same thing over and over until it works. Every platforming challenge is just avoiding timer-based instant death obstacles or movement-based instant death obstacles.
Why it fails as a puzzle-platformer. There's basically no choices to be made, only dead ends to run into. Particularly in the first switch level, this creates the illusion of choice while it actually just wastes your time. The game's gimmick (the level doesn't reset when you respawn) didn't even become apparent until a couple of levels after the first boss when I encountered the down arrow blocks. So for a significant portion of the game I was under the impression it was n indie retro puzzle-platformer that just didn't have a gimmick. The game is so spread out in the nonlinear sections that the player often has to travel between multiple screens to do things that should really all be visible at once Puzzles are only fun when the player has access to all the information and can then use their wit to solve it, not when they must wander around blindly to collect information and then do the only thing they can do to advance. By the time I got to the part where there was an actual puzzle (with the switches and the blocks with down arrows on them) I was just so divested with the game that I couldn't be arsed to solve the unnecessarily spread out puzzle. I had no reason to carry on.
In conclusion: It's a bland and muddled game that's only spent so much time on the frontpage because of its clickbait thumbnail. I don't hate it, I just hate that no one else recognises how bog standard it is.