Tag: Avoid »
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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A lone astronaut has to wander through an endless meteor storm. Is he sacrificing himself in order to save the lives of his crew? Has he been sentenced to some kind of space-Purgatory? Maybe this is what really happened to David Bowman (2001: A Space Odyssey)? Whatever the reason for his ultimately fruitless journey, it makes for an entertaining one-button game.
Irrupt is every bit as simple as it sounds. The nameless astronaut flies from the left of the screen to the right, miraculously starting over from the left again after each pass, in an endless loop. While avoiding meteors, naturally. Tapping and holding the screen causes him to cease his movement for a few moments, while simultaneously charging a boost. Releasing the screen then launches him forward at different distances based on how long he was charging. With each completed circuit the number and speed of the meteors increases, rapidly shifting from fairly easy to downright nail-biting. Every now and then power-ups that activate meteor-blasting guns will drop, but catching them can be tricky and they aren’t entirely vital to one’s success.
iOS games don’t get much more accessible than Irrupt. Tap, hold, and release. That’s all there is to it. The complexity and insanity is in the timing. Meteors can miss by virtual inches, but they can also hit by such a small margin. It means any small mistake can end a run in less time than it takes to blink, but it also means that some steadily developed skills can lead to fairly significant scores. Of course, “high score” is kind of a relative term here. So far I’ve only managed to hit 25. It’s much more challenging than it sounds.
Of course all this simplicity and accessibility could be viewed as “too much” for some people. Aside from the constant grind for a better score - and possibly bragging to Game Center friends - there’s really nothing else to it. Not that I personally think it needs anything, but I suppose an unlockable or two such as new spacesuits or something would be nice.
There’s no way anyone would mistake Irrupt for a “complex” or even a “deep” game, but it does simple fun very well. There’s no leveling up or upgrading to be had but it’s a great time killer for high score chasing iOS gamers.
Games involving flying down narrow corridors using only a single button for lift have been around almost as long as video tennis. Some of these iterations get around the stigma associated with "classic" formulas by using attention-grabbing visuals or funky music. Still others just go nuts and see what sticks.
Doodle Plane, from the minds over at Chitralekha Productions, mostly follows the example of the former. It's pretty much flying through narrow spaces and tapping a button to climb, but the colorful chalkboard graphics (and "sketchy" animations) make it a bit more interesting visually. The addition of a throttle, however, adds a (basic) new dimension to the idea. Having to carefully monitor height and speed make the levels a bit more frantic, and it's all too easy to accidentally fly past a parachuting office worker (?) when not being careful. If nothing else, it certainly ups the challenge.
It's also interesting how Doodle Plane forgoes the typical endless corridor design of most similar titles and instead uses stages with a definitive start and finish. Shortly after taking off the levels fall into the expected "one wrong move and BOOM" pattern, but after a bit players will reach an actual end and have to ever-so-delicately try to land their scribbly aeronautical nightmare. It's not as tough as it sounds, but as with the hapless skydivers it can be easy to overshoot the target when not paying attention.
I doubt anyone who doesn't enjoy these kinds of games will jump at the chance to play Doodle Plane, but I imagine genre fans will have a good amount of fun with it. Especially as the addition of take-off and landing segments, as well as mid-air rescues, make it more than just a simple re-skinning of a classic.