Developer: Brian Kokernak
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch 2nd Generation

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Fire Escapes is a very simple and straightforward game that is perfect for killing five minutes, but lacks the depth and variation in game play to offer hours of entertainment. However, the 8-bit style of the game is very well executed and will remind players of classic arcade games.

There is only one thing to do in Fire Escapes and that’s save babies. Players control a pair of fire fighters holding a trampoline while smiling babies fly out of an apartment building which is set ablaze on the left side of the screen. The goal is to move the fire fighters to the correct position in order to save the babies from hitting the concentrate pavement. The babies eventually have to wind up bouncing into the arms of their crying mother on the right side of the screen. Bounces generally move the baby one spot closer to the mother.

Players can choose in the settings whether they want tap controls or tilt controls, but both aren’t allowed at once. Tap controls allows players to move the fire fighters to right by tapping the right side of the screen, and vice versa for the left side. Tilt controls are more difficult in my opinion because one must physically tilt the screen to move the fire fighters.

When a baby hits the ground it turns in to a creepy ghost that floats in the air. After 3 babies have hit the ground the game is over.

A surprising and unique element in the game is that some of the babies are ninja babies and bounce backwards to the left, all while doing ninja kicks.

Fire Escapes is a very difficult game. It is very simple, but challenging. It picks up right away and players have to instantly deal with juggling multiple babies in the air. Once I got into a rhythm and started recognizing some patterns, the game become much more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t much else to this app besides the basic gameplay. It does integrate with game center to provide leaderboards, which is nice, but I would have liked to see some additional game mechanics, like items.

The look and feel of Fire Escapes is reminiscent of 8-bit games of the past and the pixel art is spot on. The sound effects and music also compliment the game nicely.

Overall, Fire Escapes is good for killing a few minutes, but due to a lack of variation in the game play, it won’t hold players’ attention for too long. The graphics are retro and well done, and it’s only $0.99, so it’s definitely not a bad deal.

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