Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
RGB Warped is a trippy arena survival game using very basic visuals that work to create a great atmosphere with challenging gameplay, but it’s a challenge that can prove to be quite frustrating.
Players must run around an arena – avoiding snakes, giant heads, cacti, and more – trying to pick up slot machine icons strewn about. Players can only pick up an item of the same color as them, and the colors proceed in a red->green->blue sequence after each pickup. Picking up all the icons in a level is the way to get to the next one, but there’s a scoring element to them as well. Collecting icons extends a chain timer, and keeping that going to the end of the level grants bonus points. Collect a chain of three of the same icon to get a large bonus. Players can do a dodge ‘jump’ that goes through enemies and other hazards that uses up one of the icons, so that can be a way to not just survive, but make a bonus chain happen. Of course when madness is all about, good luck trying to do that!
The visuals are very simple, relying on a three-color scheme that’s both minimalist and functional given the game mechanics. There’s enough of a visual blur there too that the game takes on a Jeff Minter vibe, along with the single-screen arenas feeling like his iOS game Minotron 2112 just in general. But this also has something of an 80’s PC essence to it as well that is its own thing. CMYK mode, which gets unlocked after reaching a certain points threshold, feels kind of like Hotline Miami with all the neon.
The soundtrack is a great fit to the game, but it overrides whatever music is currently playing. If I want to try and dodge glowing snakes and a giant head to the sounds of Skeletonwitch, why can’t I? I mean, the whole setup is pretty metal.
The controls prove frustrating: the protagonist moves so slowly that he just feels stiff. Dragging anywhere on the screen makes the game work ambidextrously, but it gets to be too easy to obscure the game action with one’s finger, especially as there’s usually action happening where the finger is, and item collection and contact is based on where the player character’s feet are. It makes navigating tricky hazards and picking up items to be more difficult than this game already is. I hope this game supports gamepads once they start releasing to the public.
And really, the disappointing thing about RGB Warped is that because it’s so committed to being challenging, it will likely keep most of its content locked away for only the most skilled players to ever experience. While I certainly appreciate a challenge, I think the game would be just as much if not more fun if it was a bit more forgiving.
Still, RGB Warped is a worthy experience, and one for those who aren’t afraid of a little challenge.
Tagged with: $0.99, Arena Survival, Games, Jeff Minter, RGB Warped, Universal App, Willem Rosenthal