Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Nobody Said It Was Easy makes no attempts to mask its difficulty from players. The title tells them exactly what to expect. However, what they might not expect is just how creative the fiendish tricks actually are.
Right from the start Nobody Said It Was Easy makes all the right choices that separate fair challenging games from purely frustrating ones. Running and jumping feel super precise, even with the added hindrance of virtual buttons. Players have more control over their character's momentum on the ground and in the air than most games, or real-life, would ever provide, and instant respawns put players right back in the action after the constant, inevitable deaths. Even if the game consisted solely of the merciless enemies and rapid obstacles of most "masocore" games, it would still work because of how well it nails the overall feel that makes those games even remotely playable.
Fortunately, Nobody Said It Was Easy features an even smarter kind of sadism. There's one major caveat when it comes to control: players can only move forward, and the only way to turn around is to bump against a wall.
But what at first sounds like an excruciating mechanic in fact turns the experience into kind of a brutal puzzle game. Perfectly align the character to nab all three stars and reach the finish line without getting turned around mid-air. Conversely, hit the wall at just the right moment to jump onto the platform behind you and avoid the crumbling floor. And once the game starts throwing in new tricks throughout its numerous levels - like hitting switches to shift platforms or controlling two characters at once that must both survive - players will feel like geniuses as they master their limited movement one fatality at a time. It's just too bad the game doesn't look nearly as inspired as it plays. The lifeless, nondescript pixel art looks nearly unchanged from its Flash game source.
Dull graphics aside, Nobody Said It Was Easy is really more of an action-packed brain game than a simple exercise in self-harm. Nobody said it was this clever, either.