Developer: Rusty Moyher
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.4
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

angle1-escape-the-sharkAngle Isle from Rusty Moyher could have easily just been another basic platformer. It could have been that type of game that featured a bird protagonist with plenty of player appeal, but little in the way of anything to actually differentiate it. Not so much: this is a speedrun platformer that also works tremendously well as a completion-based game.

Players control a bird that can’t quite fly. Sound familiar? Well, this bird has quite a bit more agency over its fate, with the ability to move laterally and flap up to four times in the air. Players controlling the bird need to collect all the fruit in an individual isle before advancing to the next one. The goal is not just to beat each difficulty consisting of myriad isles, but to try and complete them as quickly as possible.

Some of the levels feature absolutely challenging platforming, and it’s not just about going forward endlessly. Though it’s a speedrun game, planning one’s jumps intelligently plays a bigger role in success than twitch reactions.

angle4-face-your-nightmaresHowever, the great equalizer is the shark that jumps out of the water. That darn shark. The platforming is challenging enough as it is, but that shark adds a degree of urgency to the proceedings, where if the little bird isn’t moving horizontally, it’s a path to certain doom. But it encourages just enough in the way of movement and twitch gameplay that it represents a fantastic balance.

The Nightmare mode provides a nice take on this – it’s more difficult, sure, but there’s also the added element of the attack on the last jump, which provides a bit of a way to turn the tables. It’s a fun way to mix things up in a mode built to be extremely difficult.

However, even just as a completion-based game, each of the three difficulties represents enough of a challenge on its own without trying to rapidly complete it that even completionists will find something to enjoy here. There’s a different satisfaction to be had in completing the levels and then in completing them fast.

Compare this to Mikey Shorts, for example. Its levels weren’t necessarily difficult to beat on their own, but the challenge came in from the speedrun aspects. It’s not an inferior satisfaction, but this game is certainly more multifaceted in how it chooses to challenge and reward players.

This is all not mentioning the great pixel art style that uses primarily 45-degree angles for its artwork. It’s a really cool look for a game that’s got a lot going for it.

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