Developer: Everplay Interactive
Price: $0.99 (Free on launch day)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5, iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

1001 Attempts, the second entry in Everplay’s Retro Revival series that started with Rock Blocker, is a little high score game that winds up being a ton of fun. The game combines gravity flip platformers (or even Super Crossfire) where tapping on the screen causes gravity to reverse, with the intense difficulty and challenge of Super Crate Box. All kinds of hazards like lasers, spikes, and glowing green skulls spawn throughout the single-screen box that comprises the game’s playing area. The objective? Stay alive, and collect the jewels that spawn in the middle of the box by flipping gravity from one side to another, doing this for as long as possible until one’s eventual untimely demise.

The way the game is balanced is also similar to Super Crate Box, where there’s little difficulty curve, it’s all about endurance. Once the player hits about 800 points or so when the green wraith appears, the hazards don’t necessarily get any more difficult along the way, they just are very hard to all collectively dodge. So, at this point, getting high scores is solely about endurance, trying to survive as long as possible. Getting to that 800 point plateau isn’t necessarily easy, but with practice I started hitting it quite regularly.

Now, because the game requires endurance to succeed, it means that focusing on the game becomes very important. In particular, it’s about not taking stupid risks. When I didn’t panic, and didn’t let the numerous hazards overwhelm me, only moving or jumping when I absolutely needed to, that’s when I had my greatest success. I enjoy games that encourage that focus, that try to get the player to notice their surroundings in order to succeed. This is a pure high score game, and it’s well worth coming back to because of that purity. The game also encourages going for better scores by showing the player’s current global rank after every life. I was number one before launch with a score of over 4300, does anyone dare to try and catch me?

Now, 1001 Attempts is not the prettiest game by any stretch of the imagination, what with its gray background and oddly-colored protagonist. However, it’s effective in making sure all the graphical elements are distinctive, which is handy when missiles, wraiths, and spikes are all about. The controls can be a problem because they cover up corners of the screen; it’s especially an issue on the iPhone where more of the screen gets covered up.

1001 Attempts is simple, yet fun and addictive, and that’s all I really want out of my mobile games. That, and the opportunity to gloat over being better than others. The free launch price is absolutely killer since the game has no in-app purchases or anything of the sort, either, so it’s a must-download at the free price or even at the exorbitant sum of $0.99.

Update: The game’s free launch has been aborted due to a technical error when releasing an update at launch that caused the game to not be free, so in order to respect those who spent money on the game, the game has instead launched at $0.99.

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