30 March 2012

The Best iPhone Game Ever

Or

How to Procrastinate
the Life-Changing Goal of Writing a Novel


The Fancy Pants Adventures

GAMEPLAY

This is a simple side-scroller. It’s fast paced. The physics are cool—you have to get momentum by running fast—in HARDCORE PARKOUR fashion. You can do backflips, jump off walls, roll, and slide. You can even run upside down. It’s very fun. Typical in some ways (but it’s good to follow the  conventions), and it’s certainly unique in it’s delivery. 

It has quite a few levels, which one can beat in a few hours. But each level has achievements (collecting 3 stars, beating the time trials, and gathering all the squiggles), and this expands the gameplay by a long ways, letting you unlock World 1 and World 2 and—more importantly—extra character styles, like PETER PAN GEAR!

I just have to admit, I really have been sucked in by this game. As Homer says, “It’s life-ruiningly fun.” 

ARTWORK

Maybe I’m just a sucker for the minimalist style, but I really like the artwork. Mr. Pants looks like a sketch, and his default sword is a No. 2 pencil. Did I mention it’s fun? (I’ll admit, though, it’s basically vacant of plot. If that’s what you’re looking for, I’ll blog about Monkey Island 2 soon.)

CONTROLS

The controls are simple enough that you can actually use them on a touch screen (without physical keys). (Admittedly, I still walked off a couple ledges accidentally, but not too often.) This was a huge deal for me, as it’s a big problem in many games. Best touch-screen controls I’ve encountered.

BATTERY

Playing the game on your phone will kill the battery—and not just this one, but any game. So keep your cord with you if you’re planning to be an addict. 

BUY IT

It’s $0.99 in the App Store. That means you need to skip one Junior Bacon Cheeseburger to get this game. It’s worth it. Trust me. 


If you’re still not convinced, test it out in your Chrome browser here (NOTE: the iPhone version is much more polished than the web version): 




ONE MORE THING

This is what I call a serious game. It has the depth and style of classics like Mario. Most iPhone games are simple puzzle or word games—not games that includes levels and worlds like the games we grew up on. It doesn’t matter if you have 25 billion apps if most of them are crap. Pretty disappointing. (If you’re a developer, hear my plea.) That’s why I wanted to highlight this game, because I feel like it’s actually doing what a decent game should. Although this game is just doing the bare minimum—the baseline of what a game should be doing. As far as I can tell, there aren’t really any amazing games for mobile out there. 

One major hangup for mobile gaming is the controls. On most games, it’s impossible to keep your fingers in the right places while you play. (Though this game deals with it better than most.) Maybe we just need real keys. Something like this maybe? 


Feel free to share. And let me know what you think in the comments. (CAN I GET AN AMEN?)



Want more? Read about the SECOND BEST GAME FOR iPHONE.