Developer: Jayenkai
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Let me just start off by saying this: SpikeDislike 2 is not a beautiful game. Prolific developer James Gamble aka Jayenkai would be the first to admit this: he makes all his games himself as solo efforts, and his titles have distinctive programmer art. While it’s not much to look at, it’s certainly emblematic of his personal art style, and it means that there’s little to get in the way of the addictive fun that SpikeDislike 2 can be.

The goal is simple: tap and hold on the screen to go right, avoiding the spikes as the ball bounces up and down. Some spikes are meant to be jumped over, some ducked under, some either/or. Hitting a spike loses a life. That’s the game. Survival is the goal, and it’s surprisingly fun, as the game encourages the player to keep going with a combo meter that lowers if the player stands around, yet it lasts long enough to not force players to be impatient, just to be smart if they want high scores, which the game reminds the player of which score rank is next. The game supports Game Center but sadly doesn’t show friends’ scores as they get passed up, which would be a great addition. There are 9 game modes, many of which require coins to be spent to unlock. There’s no in-app purchases, all the modes can be unlocked through normal skilled play. It’s more of a replay value incentive than a way to nickel-and-dime players.

Despite the game’s basic premise and utilitarian look, there’s still a ton of fun to be had. The different modes usually just represent slight variations on the formula, but can present different challenges for scoring, such as the different amounts of lives. The location of the spikes are always in their fixed positions (but in random orders), but some modes have pickups near the spikes to collect that make it more difficult to earn points. Plus, there’s just the challenge of trying to keep going and keeping the combo meter as high as possible. It’s very easy to get hooked, and that’s why this game is worth checking out.

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