Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Previously a PC game made during a Global Game Jam in Germany, Somyeol has made its way to the iOS platform with many of its indie elements intact.
Somyeol is a title that lends itself very well to the portable nature of iOS games, offering bitesized levels that never fail to leave the player feeling satisfied with their game time.
The player must guide the precious Somyeol people, a nearly extinct species from Greensland, to safety. Things are far from simple, however, as they're a vulnerable bunch that need plenty of help in order to reach the rocket that takes them home at the end of each level. A timer throughout keeps the player on their toes, keen to beat their previous best time. Each Somyeol also features different abilities and there's the awkward problem of controlling all of them at once.
Fortunately, the game does introduce these elements fairly well. What isn't so comfortable is settling on a control system that works well. Three options are available and none felt perfect to me. Multitouch places icons on either side of the screen to control direction, while a third is placed at the top to jump. It makes holding the device a little uncomfortable for extended doses. Finger tapping via the third control method nearly works but I found myself overcompensating too much and inevitably throwing a Somyeol into the fire by accident.
Despite my usual apprehension to the method, accerolemeter based controls were most effective making it relatively easy to make the small movements sometimes required to traverse the increasingly complex stages.
It all makes for a challenging experience and one that's akin to my experience with other PC indie titles. Leaping across a flurry of spikes or a fire pit is always satisfying though, even if sometimes it is a little frustrating dealing with a group of Somyeols that do seem intent on killing themselves. For the patient gamer, this is still a decent choice.