Developer: Icons + Facet Creative
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
The Cyrus Chronicles is a quirky little game with big ambitions. It seeks to immerse players in a beautiful world while tackling heady subjects like microscopic organisms and the birth of the universe. However, even the most experimental of visions can’t make up for a game that just isn’t very fun to play.
The Cyrus Chronicles’ backstory is strange, complex and actually pretty interesting. Basically, it’s about an organism named Cyrus that has come to seed life on Earth after arriving on an asteroid. By tapping the screen players move Cyrus around obstacles and towards flowers to advance to the next stage. Mazes are also filled with energy to collect. Unfortunately, that gameplay is as dull and one-note as it sounds. Cyrus is slow, obstacles are obvious and having to tap constantly to make slight adjustments in direction will make players miss the immediacy of an analog stick.
There’s a tiny bit of strategy when players hit narrower passages though. Cyrus constantly inflates and deflates so patience and timing are needed to make sure Cyrus is small enough to fit through. Still, overall this part of the experience, the part when one plays it, is more of a chore and it’s made worse by the lack of saving and level selection. Whenever players start the game they are sent right back to the beginning of the boring journey.
However, The Cyrus Chronicles wants to engage players with its presentation rather than its gameplay and in that sense it mostly succeeds. The visuals are wholly unique with characters that look like squirming cells cut out of magazines and projected onto space dioramas. The trippy music is a joy to listen to, even if it does loop too soon. Still, while it is all very nice, players could find a really elaborate screensaver and get essentially the same experience.
The Cyrus Chronicles is like a fancy wrapper on a bland piece of candy. It seeks to be an avant-garde darling like flOw, but that game understood that unique isn’t enough. Games have to be enjoyable too.