Developer: ChrisJeff Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Space is Key is a game for the strong-willed. Part of the tradition of intentionally-difficult platformers in the vein of titles like The Impossible Game, this game that started as a series of Flash titles has come to iOS as a single app with both Space is Key games and a new “Hell” mode with 30 levels of challenge.

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Players can do one thing: jump to avoid obstacles. Obstacles come in at different widths and heights, requiring different timings, of course. These levels are presented one after another after another, not stopping until the player reaches the end. Along the way, an omniscient narrator provides helpful advice, and not-so-helpful ribbing and downright malicious lies.

The narrator goes a long way toward giving the game a personality: the player’s not just competing against the challenge, having only one tap to jump in the air, but against this narrator who may not want the player to succeed. At worst, it provides a layer of additional entertainment beyond conquering the challenge presented.

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The real value of the game comes in from wanting to reduce the number of total deaths in each level set. There’s 130 in total across the three sets, and for an experienced gamer like myself, it took well under an hour to complete all three. However, mastering the physics and memorizing what needs to be done in a level in order to not die so much takes a lot of time. Good luck with that. Sadly, there’s no Game Center for competing on completion time or fewest deaths for each level set.

Space is Key is a limited-time challenge, sure, but I enjoyed my brief time with it. I sure showed that disembodied narrator who was boss, though. Me. I’m the boss. Like a boss.

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