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Parasite Pack PS5 Review

*Full disclosure, The Geek Getaway received a free review code for the Parasite Pack on PS5

Alastair Low grew up playing the NES and dreamed of one day creating a game for the system. Like all children, Alastair grew up but he never let go of his dream. In 2019 he created a game, as part of the 2019 NESMaker Byte-off competition, called Flea using the NESMaker program. A year later Alastair launched a Flea Kickstarter that raised 200% of its goal, allowing Alastair to finally achieve his dream of having a video game published to run on the NES console. Alastair followed up the success of Flea with Tapeworm Disco Puzzle, a game set in the Flea universe, that was also made to run on the NES. 

Thanks in part to the publisher Ratalaika Games, both Flea and Tapeworm Disco Puzzle are being published on PS4/5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox and Series X/s as a 2 game package called the Parasite Pack. The game, which is out now, will cost you $7.99 / €7.99 / £5.99 in the respective digital stores of each console.


Flea is a challenging platformer that puts you in the shoes of Henry the flea. Over the course of 80 levels you must avoid thumbtacks, pits, other parasites, and various other challenges. While you try to reach the end of each level you can collect blood jars that get traded in for lives whenever you run into Big the flea. The twist that makes this game so challenging is the fact that Henry never stops jumping. While you can control the direction he moves and even stunt the height of his jumps you absolutely can't stop jumping when on the non "water" levels. Yes, there are "water" levels that introduce a swimming mechanic to the gameplay.

The gameplay in Flea easy to learn but insanely difficult to master, in a good way. You will most likely die repeatedly as you try to navigate the tricky jumps that get harder and harder as the game goes on. After failing to clear a row of thumbtacks or avoid mosquitoes buzzing by several times in a row it feels so satisfying when you overcome the challenge and pass the level.

The visuals in Flea are very much in the style of NES era games and that might understandably put off some gamers. The presentation is simple but there really doesn't need to be very flashy graphics as the gameplay does draw you in. By contrast, the music is very catchy and will make your frustrations at dying a lot more palatable. 

Tapeworm Disco Puzzle

Tapeworm Disco Puzzle takes the visuals and audio from Flea and uses it in a 100 level puzzle game that combines Snake, Lolo, and the Lemmings into a unique game cocktail. You control a tapeworm that must collect notes, get Fleada the singer safe, and assist fleas in collecting blood all while avoiding enemies and obstacles. There are 25 co-op levels in Tapeworm Disco Puzzle, so you and a friend can tackle unique levels together locally.

About every 20 levels a new mechanic is tossed at you so the gameplay does stay fresh throughout the game, despite the basic stretch the worm to collect objects mechanic being there. The sounds and visuals are identical to Flea, so there isn't much more to say about them.

Like Flea, Tapeworm Disco Puzzle introduces the gameplay mechanics in very easy levels but it quickly ramps up the difficulty as you progress. Also, like Flea, you will get both frustrated and elated with every level that causes you difficulty. Unlike Flea, you have infinite tries in Tapeworm Disco Puzzle so there is less pressure to be perfect.

Final Verdict: Recommended
Going into these games I was expecting to hate them as the art style really didn't impress me. The simple and easy early levels were also a turn off as I didn't think the games were going to hold my attention for long, however as the levels got harder and the deaths racked up I found myself pushing forward determined to beat the game. Both games possess the "one more level" factor that will see you playing long after you said you were just going to try 1 more level.

The Nintendo Switch port of the game does benefit from the portable nature of the console as this is a perfect bus ride/doctor office waiting room/toilet game. On systems like the PS4/5 or any of the Xbox consoles it will probably take a backseat to the numerous modern games available. That said, I do highly recommend this 2 pack of games as both are very fun and pretty addictive.