App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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I must admit, my initial outlook on Project 83113 was about a bleak as the world in which its fuzzy denizens inhabit. I didn’t think it looked bad, just that it wasn’t my cup of tea. The cute little pink/purple critter wielding lots of guns was kind of cool and all, but it just didn’t seem all that interesting. Turns out I was wrong in a very big way.
Project 83113, or “Belle” (see what they did there?), is pretty much the last hope for her people. They’ve been oppressed and forced into slavery by a race of machines, and created Belle in the hopes that she might be able to more or less single-handedly overthrow the regime. In practice it’s similar to a runner/platformer, only players can actually control Belle’s movement to make her run right or left as well as stop completely. Swiping in a horizontal direction will get her moving, up makes her jump, and down will slide. Holding on the screen after a jump will also make Belle glide for a bit in order to make the tough gaps. It’s more than just leaping over chasms and enemies, however. She doesn’t tote those firearms around for nothing, and when the action really gets going it can be gloriously hectic.
So much about Project 83113 just works. The controls are responsive and intuitive, while the levels do a great job of putting reflexes to the test. Making the shooting automatic might seem like an odd choice at first but it was actually a very clever idea. Having to worry about aiming on top of all the dodging and such would’ve made things far too confusing. Allowing Belle to shoot for herself but letting players upgrade her guns for better results makes it feel like I still have a little bit of control, as does the occasional tapping of the screen to fire massive screen-clearing blasts. Not only is it all incredibly fun, but there are a bunch of different ranks and badges to earn for each level. It’ll no doubt keep completionists busy.
The only problem I had with Project 83113 was the tendency to get lost in all the on-screen chaos. I’d be too busy looking ahead at an enemy or jump, planning my next move, to realize that there’s a low-hanging ceiling I need to slide under. Similarly I’ve had more than a few instances where I’ve completely lost track of Belle amidst all the flashy projectiles. Not that a heavily chaotic action game is a bad thing. I just feel like it should have a bit more of a gradual curve to all the visual insanity.
Within moments I was totally floored by Project 83113’s mechanics, action, and style. Don’t be fooled by the cuddly mascot like I was at first; this is a fantastic action/platforming game that’s well worth playing.