Monday, January 25, 2016

Red Game Without a Great Name (PS VITA)

When it comes to the naming of this game I think iFun4All's approach is rather innovative, and catchy. In fact I caught myself singing out the title of the game earlier today for no apparent reason. I'm crazy like that, lol! As far as the title of the game is concerned the only thing it really describes in regards to the gameplay is the colored theme you'll be seeing throughout your playthrough as well as the fact that the game is void of a proper name. Aside from those two things the game does still stand out on it's own as a uniquely challenging experience with a simple yet effective backstory. It does alright for itself by providing easy to understand content which the gamer can enjoy at home, or on the go. In retrospect it is one of those 2D side-scrolling, and finger swiping mobile types of games which you often times see as indie apps. While it is easy to pick up, and put down mastering it will require some seriously quick reactions, and interactions as you will be facing the task of delivering secret letters via a teleporting mechanical bird in a trap infested steampunk world.

When it comes down to plot, and predicament you'll find that the red world of "Red Game Without a Great Name" is in fact that of a troubled steampunk society. The environments you'll be braving, and even the mechanical bird which you'll be guiding along the screen with your finger are derivative of such a steampunk fiction. When you initially startup the game you'll be greeted by the obvious title screen in all of it's red glory as well as by a beautiful song with vocals that are playing out in the background. It's quite the catchy tune, and it actually goes along well with the music that you'll be hearing within the game's soundtrack. Past this simple title screen presentation, and past the previously mentioned song you'll also be greeted with an animated intro sequence that shows a silhouetted Victorian lady in steampunk garb fixing a silhouetted parrot-like mechanical bird. It is this mechanical bird that she then packs with an electronic letter, and sends off the balcony into a quartered off district made up of streets, and buildings.

As one might guess it is the mechanical bird which you will be controlling, and running mail delivery errands with. The catch is that the bird teleports via a swipe of your finger upon the PS Vita's screen. By touching the bird, and dragging your finger from the bird to another area the bird will vanish, and teleport to the directed designation. While the first few deliveries, which require the collecting of gears and an entry into an end stage bird cage are straightforward you will encounter increasingly difficult to deal with hazards in the form of various traps along the way. Also against your efforts is the the constantly side-scrolling screen which follows your movements from start to finish. To combat the hazards, and the side-scrolling you'll have to move the bird quickly, and safely from beginning to end while utilizing power-ups, and the teleporting capability. As far as power-ups go they come into play later on in the game, and include things like 'time immortality', and 'direction change' which in turn alter how you approach the level advancement.

The levels, which play a huge role in your mission completion are sectioned off on a map that is divided further by no-named streets, and buildings. There are 60 designations in total with a total of 180 gears to collect along the way. In order to successfully complete a level you must guide the bird with your finger as previously mentioned, and land it in the cage at the end using the same method of movement. Supposing you collect all of the gears you will score a "flawless" playthrough which will be displayed on the map. As you complete levels your deaths, or the lack thereof will also be tallied up, and noted on the map as well. The more levels you complete the more that will become unlocked, and playable. When it comes to level design, and layout the levels are built much like a 2D platformer in that there are walls, platforms, and obstacles that are in place to keep you from where you intend on going. Utilizing the teleport ability properly, and efficiently is the only way to work your way around a lot of it. That, and the use of the power-ups will assist you in achieving your ultimate playthrough of perfection.

For those of you curious about the art style it is layered like a lot of the 2D indies out there. The backgrounds, and foregrounds are a mixture of white, red, and black respectively. Foreground objects including the mechanical bird are stencil-like creations that are solid black with details defined by cut out patterns. Kind of like a silhouette, or shadow box paper cutout. The backgrounds, for the most part are layers of red with hints of black detail, and white haze forming the steampunk world in which the game takes place. You'll see things like hot air balloons, and city buildings reminiscent of a steampunk world. There's even rubble, and broken down buildings in your path. The art style in that respect is simple yet elegant.

Now for the Verdict ...

For $4.99 this game definitely lives up to it's pricing. It's easy to pick up on, and easy to understand. At the same time it's challenging in a puzzle sense. It's also very beautiful, and graphically alluring. The game fits well with the PS Vita in that the Vita is a touchscreen console much like the mobile devices which run such games are. Navigating the bird is not all that difficult using the touchscreen, and the only thing standing between your bird, and delivery is the obstacles between. Not only are the graphics, and gameplay noteworthy, but the soundtrack is impressive as well. I absolutely loved that intro song. I don't know what language it was in, but I loved it. If you love indies, still have your PS Vita, and care enough to experience something new for cheap on it then this just might be the game for you. With that being said touchscreen games aren't for everyone, and I understand that. If you love mobile games though then I believe you'll enjoy this one!

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