Version Reviewed: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Looking like a Temple Run clone, Nono Islands will surprise you because it’s much more than that. It’s more of a maze-based platformer that will equally thrill and frustrate you.
You control an adventurer seeking out treasures in foreign and dangerous lands. Wandering is grid based with your hero leaping from platform to platform through your swipes. Miss a platform and it’s back to an earlier checkpoint. The same goes for if an enemy encroaches on that same platform, because you’re really pretty vulnerable. So, in essence, you end up playing a kind of high speed strategy game.
A constant timer and a high score board at the end of each stage highlights the need for speed, but often you also want to be pretty cautious too. Of course, there’s no penalty for taking ages to complete a stage but who wants to be last amongst their friends, really? That's what's going to urge you on to be faster, shaving valuable seconds off your times.
Further reasons to be brave come in the form of treasure pieces that can be collected through being a little more daring as you wander, but they’re invariably tricky to get to, but worth it.
Throughout, Nono Islands is quite gorgeous, adding to the appeal. While swipe based controls take a little time to master, they soon feel reasonably accurate and satisfying.
The only significant flaw to Nono Islands is its checkpoint system. It’s a little muddily and relies on in-app purchases a little too readily, but a $2.99 purchase bypasses all that and Nono Islands feels worth it.
You’ll often find yourself swearing as speed leads to a painful fall, but odds are you’ll return to Nono Islands. Its simplicity is both what compels you and what infuriates you, and while it’s perhaps not overly memorable in the long term, it should keep you happy while it lasts.