Developer: iBright Studios
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

img_0165 TightWire is a challenging, tilt-based game that revolves around an extraordinarily simple concept: tightrope walking. Using the accelerometer, your task is to guide a rather obese character as he fights gravity and struggles to cross the chasm between buildings. Surprisingly enough, it’s addicting, challenging, and definitely polished.

When you start each game, a brief image overlay appears on the screen, explaining the tilt controls: side-to-side balances your character, while tilting toward or away from you defines his speed. Tap the screen, and the guide fades away, leaving you alone with the “daredevil” and a very high tightrope.

Tip your device forward, and the fun begins. Let me say this: TightWire is hard. Guiding the teetering character over the tremulous tightwire is no small feat. It is, however, an enjoyable one; you’ll find yourself desperately twisting your device as soon as the red indicator at the bottom of the screen flashes (this means that he’s about to lose his balance). The reward for failure is excellent, too: an animation of our wannabee-circus star as he tumbles to the ground, arms flailing, and leaves a crater in the asphalt below.

Speaking of the animation: the graphics in TightWire are beyond exceptional. Animation is fluid, realistic, and provides ample eye candy for even the most jaded viewer. Even the wailing is realistic! Just watch the video already! If you get annoyed by continued wailing after a while, though (and I did), TightWire provides a handy volume slider for both music and sound effects in the options menu.

As for rewards, TightWire provides plenty of incentives to entice you into retrying each level. Your time and score (a measure of distance) are both recorded. Finishing a level (which, for the record, is rather difficult!) rewards you with a new one. There are five total, ranging from a smallish opening building to true skyscrapers. Online leaderboards are also available to complement your local records.

TightWire is incredibly simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s ideal for snack-gaming, and the basic premise is enough to keep players hooked, at least for a little while. You can’t beat the animation that accompanies each death-defying tumble…or the price. If you’re looking for a simple challenge, this one might be for you.

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