Developer: Oxylus
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Furious Climber is a new take on the “awkward movement” sub-genre that’s emerged recently. It invokes games like QWOP, Mount Your Friends, or even Octodad where the act of moving the character is more entertaining than reaching whatever goal they’re moving towards. But while it gets the movement right, the rest of the game is disappointingly sparse.

furious climber 1furious climber 2Furious Climber has players scaling a series of small walls like the ones you’d find in an indoor recreation center. They control a figure with a segmented, accordion-like body and flailing limbs that heighten the absurdity. Using the touch screen, climbers attach hands and feet to nearby rocks while trying to get to the top as fast as possible. But there are a few factors to keep in mind. The player character tires after a certain amount of time, especially if left hanging without foot support. Certain rocks are less strenuous to hold onto than others, but players still can’t just wait forever. To get to trickier spots, they’ll have to use momentum to their advantage: swinging and putting limbs in weird places to reach untold heights. And if they do fail, the game shows the previous path they took so they can easily correct mistakes.

furious climber 3furious climber 4Controlling Furious Climber is about as fun, funny, and fluid as it looks. And managing its unique rhythm proves to be quite satisfying. However, everything else surrounding this admittedly solid hook falls a bit flat. The levels themselves are mostly empty white backgrounds dotted with a few flatly colored rocks. The majority of them are actually user-generated but there seems to be very little vetting, leading to numerous stupidly-easy or impossibly-difficult challenges. As players complete more levels their stamina improves, but without an actual campaign to work through it’s kind of irrelevant. Finally, most of the text – including the important tutorials – is riddled with spelling errors.

So Furious Climber is pretty rough, but that’s how mountains are. If you can shrug it off, which is entirely possible, it’s worth shooting for this summit.

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