There was a lot of praise about this iOS game throughout the blogosphere, so I had to give it a whirl.
The game is most easily described as a combination of The Legend of Zelda and Shadow of the Colossus. It’s an adventure/puzzle game that evokes a sense of wonder throughout its game world.
To get it out of the way, the only problems I have with the game are the character graphics and quirky writing. My problem with the characters are mainly just aesthetics, they just feel awkward and unfamiliar when compared to the 8-bit sprites from years ago. At the same time, though, they still manage to convey plenty of emotion through animation even though their faces comprise only about 4 pixels. The quirky writing is just another nit that’s more personal preference than anything, nothing gamebreaking here.
But looking past that, the music and gameplay hit the mark quite well. Jim Guthrie’s score really sets the mood for the game, calming and mysterious for the most part, but transitioning smoothly into excitement without losing the beat. The puzzles were very good too, providing subtle hints rather than explicitly spelling out exactly what you need to do to progress. The combination of the two make for a game that’s really quite unlike anything else for iOS.
This isn’t the kind of game where you pick it up and play when you have a spare 5 minutes. This is the kind of game where you sit down with headphones and play for longer periods of time, which is kind of unheard of for this platform.
And then there’s the little nugget at the end (SPOILERS AHEAD).
During the ending, a raspy voice will give the following sequence of numbers: 4086342806. I didn’t quite understand it at first, but it’s a phone number. When you call it, you’ll hear the same voice raspy voice as in the end of the game. A few days ago, this voice said “Return again when the dark moon reigns, return again”. The dark moon is synonymous with the real world new moon, which was May 3rd. And so, two days ago, a patch was released for the game. The patch itself was nothing too big, but having to call a mysterious phone number with cryptic clues about the game makes the entire experience that much more awesome.
If you call it now, it says, in a normal voice, “Long live the new flesh”. I think it might have something to do with replaying the game.
Regardless of it’s meaning, the game costs about as much as a latte, yet gives you several orders of magnitude more satisfaction. It’s definitely worth checking out, and I’ll be replaying it myself soon enough.