148Apps Network Post
Developer: Gotta Pea
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Parkour has seen something of a small bit of celebrity in video games lately. I wonder why? Right, well, most of the time it involves giving players direct control over a character. The problem with such an approach is that the controls need to be hyper-responsive or else the entire thing can become a frustrating mess. The refusal to adhere to the expected norm is what makes Peakour special. Rather than control the little jumping (and flipping, and wall-running) bean, they have to piece together a course and watch him run through it automatically. Funny enough the controls are absolutely terrible, but because it’s more of a puzzle game and less a reaction-based platformer it’s not a huge problem.

So this little pea with an attitude has to get from Point A (the starting point) to Point B (the target) in one piece. Nabbing as many of the three bottle caps spread throughout the level is a good idea, too, as they’re needed to unlock more stages. Each of the 100 levels is incomplete from the start, and it’s up to the player to figure out where to place their limited bits of random items (i.e. platforms, walls, etc) in order to finish it. Sometimes simply getting to the end can be a challenge, but doing so and grabbing all three bottle caps is even tougher.

There’s something inherently nifty about watching the little green guy vault around the place. Visualizing his route ahead of time and seeing it all come together perfectly is quite satisfying. It’s also wonderful that Gotta Pea didn’t try to add any sort of arbitrary tension with time limits for the set up phase or anything like that. The countdown timer doesn’t start until PeaG is on the move (triggered by a deliberate button press), and even then it only factors in to earning a higher score for the leaderboards. All things considered, this is a pretty relaxing “runner” of a sort.

Peakour does have a major glaring fault, however. Basically, the controls for picking up and placing obstacles are awful. It takes me several tries before I can finally move one of these things around, and it can take several more before I can get it exactly where I want it. Thankfully it doesn’t really break the gameplay, but it’s incredibly annoying to spend more time trying to move a stick than actually enjoying the game.

In its current state, Peakour is a fairly fun puzzle game with a unique spin on parkour. And with some pretty terrible controls. It’s still fun enough, but a little tweaking would make it a lot easier to enjoy to the fullest. I also wouldn’t mind it if they nixed all the freaking “pea” puns.


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