the all-too-steep difficulty curve bites down like Mike Tyson enjoying a breakfast bowl of Earios.
peej about The Fight: Lights out
Bulky Pix, the French developers/publishers responsible for a list of quality iPhone hits that is beginning to grow as long as your arm are back with two new platformers: Pix’n Love Rush and Roll Out.
Let’s look at the former of the two first.
Pix’n Rush Love has been developed by Pastagames and is an old school ‘run, jump and shoot’ type of platformer. Initially, only a 5 minute timed mode is available. Here players must tackle a random variety of levels and try to survive for 5 minutes. The levels are all bite sized and take about 20 seconds to run through. They range from the typical Mario style ‘run and jump from left to right’ to auto-scrolling, climbing upwards and single screen affairs. On each level you must collect circular coins and avoid square blocks plus shoot aliens and occasionally protect angels.
Once the 5 minute mode has been completed an infinity mode opens up. Here, as the name suggests, you simply last as long as you can and try to rack up a new high score.
The real beauty of Pix’n Love Rush comes with the fantastic Game Boy/Game and Watch themed graphics. Pastagames have done a brilliant job of replicating the LCD screens and they fit in wonderfully with the retro inspired style of gameplay. The different skins appear as you rack up multiplier bonuses, so getting to see some of the later skins will take quite some practise. Helpfully, your current bonus is always shown in the top right corner of the screen, as is your health in the top left.
Now we come to the crux of any iPhone game – the controls. They are simple enough with left and right arrows in the lower left corner and the jump and shoot buttons placed in the lower right. They are all responsive enough, but my only criticism is that the directional buttons are a little too close together, and the jump and shoot buttons are a little too far apart. This can be frustrating when you accidently hit the shoot button instead of jump – especially as your own stray bullets take away precious health. There is a bit of freedom with the left/right arrows (your finger doesn’t have to be perfectly on top of them), but there does need to be a little more fine tuning here.
Pix’n Love Rush is easily one of my favourite iPhone platform games and one I will be spending lots more time trying to improve my so far quite paltry scores. At the current introduction price of 59p, there really is no excuse for not trying this out.
Secondly we come to Roll Out, which is a different beast completely. Developed by Fishing Cactus and Artik Entertainment, you play as Wabba, a cute little gremlin creature whom you must guide over platforms to reach the warp gate taking him to the next level. The twist comes with taking away all standard buttons and controls: there’s no jump button and no direction pad either. Luckily for Wabba the screen is littered with arrow markers which, as Wabba rolls into them, will make him jump in the indicated direction. The arrow markers become inactive if you touch the screen and must be scrolled to line up jumps correctly. As Wabba constantly rolls forward, thinking ahead and judging the timing required to scroll the arrows for a perfect jump is essential to making progress.
The control system works brilliantly well. And at a single stroke the developers have combined a unique platform experience and removed any control issues that usually hinder iPhone platform games.
There are 50 levels to negotiate all with very tight goal times. Whilst you don’t have to beat the goal time to move on to the next level, doing so will unlock achievements in OpenFeint. As you progress through the levels, further twists arrive in the shape of areas where Wabba cannot interact with arrows, and moving platforms.
My one complaint in Roll Out comes with the inability to play your own music. The standard background track is all you have for company, and well, all I can say is be prepared to have it stuck in your head for a while!
Roll out is also priced at just 59p as an introduction offer and again is easily one for me to recommend picking up.
With Pix’n Love Rush there for those wanting retro high score chasing and Roll Out offering a fresh new gameplay idea, platform fans are being spoiled for choice. Both are excellent examples of their genre and are worthy of your attention.