This is another one of those games where it seems like the creators knew that a lot of the levels are really, really annoying, and you’re going to die a lot, and therefore the game is required to have an awesome soundtrack. As many times as I got fed up with certain levels, the music kept me going.
The WORST of the design decisions (Eggplant Wizard, the enemies that steal your items) are made up for by really, really good platforming.
That said, this game has TERRIBLE balance. The first world is the hardest by a long shot. But, if you power yourself up correctly in those early stages, the rest of the stages get easier, and the game is actually a lot of fun.
I found that the key to success was making sure to rack up 50k points in world 1-1. There’s no timer in this game, but the process of doing that takes FOREVER. It’s definitely worthwhile though.
For such a simplistic game, the story is very coherent. There are 3 worlds (plus the final boss fight). World 1 is an escape from Hell, which is why you’re constantly climbing up. World 2 is on Earth and is a side scroller. World 3, you’re in the sky, climbing up again. Each world feels unique and entirely its’ own.
Overall I see the flaws in this game and understand why people would have no patience for it, but if you can spend the time it takes to get through those first few levels the right way, the payoff is really good.