Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Although mobile platforms have progressed to the point where they can deliver deep gaming experiences on par with more established competitors, Never Let Go is still ultimately the kind of game they were made for. It’s the definition of short, simple, and sweet.
With a title like Never Let Go, the game could either be a ponderous romantic drama or literally a game about never letting go. It’s the latter. As soon as they touch the start button, players must guide a little sphere like a mouse cursor around oncoming obstacles while never lifting their finger from the touch screen. Speeding past walls and through checkpoint gates requires a lot of hard swings, and without the privilege of repositioning digits it can even cause some mild hand strain. But the stakes do end up feeling surprisingly high thanks in part to hyper responsive controls. Plus, seeing the ghosts of past failed runs, which raise scores when grabbed, just increases the desire to push on further.
Fortunately the game also knows when to give players a break. Never Let Go is divided into several worlds and once players reach a new one they can immediately start from there on their next attempts. These new stages also demonstrate the game’s wide rainbow color palette for its minimal environments of cute monster circles. But what’s even more entertaining is the festive acoustic music. No matter how tough the game gets, and it gets tough, the music makes it hard not to smile.
Never Let Go is a very basic game. Aside from some shifting backgrounds never letting go is all players see or do. Even an idea as obvious as some power-ups is nowhere to be seen. But the simplicity is also part of the charm, and it’s on one of the few remaining platforms where that’s still okay. It never lets go of what it is.