Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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SiliBili HD is a game that wastes no time. Where some games take a while to get to their annoyingly repetitive phase, this one gets there pretty much in the first level!
This is a 3D platformer, currently an iPad-exclusive, where players control one of Sili or Bili, hammer-wielding precocious scamps that must collect stones and return them to their sacred origins in each level, because video games. However, swarms of enemies will come after Sili or Bili, all with the simple goal of making sure that the stones aren’t collected, because, again, video games. Does it really matter what the reason is? It’s the standard video game MacGuffin. However, the game does come right out of the gate showing its cards: this is an experience that is frequently frustrating and repetitive with its goal of collecting the stones in a level before dying.
It’s a shame, too, because the game has a lot going for it on paper: there’s a completely beautiful look to it, with plenty of vibrant color. It’s just so visually appealing. The fixed perspective is a great choice as well; no camera issues at all! Also, the player hits everything with a hammer. The hammer is an underrated video game weapon. There's no reason why this shouldn't be great.
But sadly, when I’m hitting the home button in anger at level 2, in the phase that’s supposed to get me interested in the game, I think something is wrong. Checkpoints after each stone collected would help greatly. Making enemies a little weaker would help, as at the beginning, they require a lot of damage. As well, letting coins that are collected on even failed level attempts be collected would help with buying upgrades, and making replays less annoying. Falling in water should also not be an instant death scenario.
SiliBili HD also has a generally confusing interface, with few buttons with an obvious purpose. This is a game that had me intrigued as a 3D platformer was completely up my alley at the time, but its shortcomings, emblematic of a game that feels like it hasn’t gotten that last 10% (or more) of tweaking and refinement that separates good idea from good games.