Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
A hungry animal being chased by ticked-off humans is a classic cartoon premise. A character running forward through an endless obstacle course is quickly becoming a classic iOS gaming premise. Aby Escape shows that these two great tastes also go great together.
In Aby Escape players help Aby the raccoon escape a mob of hunters by tilting him past barriers, flicking him over gaps, sliding him underneath obstacles and doing everything else they already did in Temple Run. Originality issues aside, there’s a decent variety to the obstacles which include logs, trucks and bear traps and they have an organic quality that makes determining the proper move not always obvious. This means players will have to stay on their toes, increasing the enjoyable tension. However, for some this occasional lack of clarity may be more frustrating than fun. The window for when moves can be successfully pulled off is pretty forgiving but going along with the obstacle issue, sometimes what the game accepts as the proper timing feels a bit off.
As they escape, players will want to collect coins as well as shoes because as Aby’s shoe gauge depletes he slows down. Having an empty shoe gauge does not necessarily mean game over but constantly going as fast as possible means more ground can be covered and more points can be earned. As for the coins, while there are power-ups, skins and weirdly enough a story mode one can buy the only worthwhile things to purchase are the two unlockable environments with new layouts. Not only do they give the game far more content but also give it some needed visual diversity. The game has a great, cartoony, almost cel-shaded art style and seeing that applied to not just the forest but to the suburbs and desert too is a treat. Also, the art style combined with the smooth moves of the raccoon protagonist may remind some of the Sly Cooper series which isn’t a bad series to be compared too. On top of all that, the plucky, rustic, high-tempo music is absolutely charming.
At this point, anyone who has been following the App Store gaming scene long enough knows that good ideas are always quickly copied. Aby Escape is further proof of that. The good news though is that it’s a quality recreation, not a cheap knock-off.