Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
When I first heard of One Single Life, I was instantly intrigued. The concept behind the game is spelled out in the title. This is a 2D platformer in which you have one life. If you die, it's game over. Period. How can't you be curious?
The gameplay in One Single Life is incredibly simple and straight forward. You control a runner who must jump across city skyscrapers. The challenge lies in timing the controls. You tap the screen to make your character start running and tap it again to make him jump.
Before you actually attempt each level in "reality," as the game calls it, you have a chance to practice the jump as many times as you like without fear of getting a game over. Once you attempt the level in "reality," though, the game begins to accomplish its goal. The fear of dying sets in. Each level starts with a sign telling you the percentage of players that have died at this very point, which adds to the atmosphere. There's definitely a sense of anxiety and nervousness whenever you attempt a jump, considering if you fail it, you can't play anymore. In this sense, One Single Life is quite successful.
That said, there's a serious problem here, and you've already read about it. There's the practice mode before each level, which essentially defeats the entire purpose of the game. Yeah, it's nice being able to practice a level before you commit to your one chance at passing it, but then it's not really "one single life" anymore. It's kind of an odd design decision that goes against the entire theme of the game, really. It's a little perplexing.
One Single Life is a fun little game with an interesting concept behind it. In some ways, it's successful in its mission to make you feel the anxiety of only having one life. But then when you consider that you can practice an infinite number of times before you play any level, some of that tension goes out the window. Also, the game is naturally a short one, so you won't get a whole lot of play time out of it.
Despite my criticism, I have to admit that One Single Life is an interesting game, and if you're at all intrigued by it, it's worth downloading. After all, it is free.