Version Reviewed: 0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Droidscape:Basilica is a pretty grimy game to look at. Invoking a dark side of science fiction that's frequently quite popular, humanity has been plunged into a new Dark Ages and the future is distinctly bleak. Fortunately, one droid by the name of Bishop 7 can save humanity. Or at least make it slightly less terrible.
It sounds like the plot line behind a shooter of some description, but instead Droidscape:Basilica is a puzzle game. Each level requires careful navigation in order to avoid enemy droids, as well as collect gems and keys that are needed in order to open various doors. Split into two sections, the first section requires the player to plot their path, while the latter part of the game involves safely negotiating such a route.
The first part is reasonably simple to do, given it's just a matter of dragging one's finger around the level, snagging the relevant gems and keys, before reaching the door. However, planning is required in order to have any chance of succeeding in the second section. Bishop 7 only has so much energy at his disposal, so it's vital that players take this into consideration. Pods are available occasionally to refresh his energy, but things are rarely simple.
The second section is the most challenging, however. Using a form of analog stick control, players can carefully nudge Bishop 7 along the path, as well as dash off quickly in order to circumvent the enemies. It's a fun but challenging control method, and feels pretty tactile.
For those keen to try something a little different, there's the choice of using HeadTwister controls, too. This involves using the front-facing camera on an iOS device to manipulate Bishop 7. The app is keen to point out that this is experimental technology, and I can see why. I had huge trouble getting it to work effectively and found myself sticking to the more accurate touch controls. It'll be interesting to see how such technology develops in the future, though.
Each level of Droidscape:Basilica can take some hefty planning, certainly later on in the game when things are trickier, so the 60 levels available is plentiful for the price. Feeling suitably different from other puzzle offerings further helps Droidscape:Basilica and, while I wasn't so sure about the initial dark tone, it turned out to be a satisfying puzzler.