Oct 1, 2013
One thing that I always want in modern gaming generation is the sorts of consistent 2D adventures, like Castlevania and Metroid. For some reason, once the idea of consistent, half-open world, was firmly established in modern shooters, 2D actions just as firmly forgot about it, and retrograded to Mario remakes. The only games that feature half-open world are some experimental, lightweight games that barely even have any action, much like I Am Level here. Not that it’s a bad game, but its Metroid-like level system constantly makes me want to find something more complex than this. I Am Level itself is fine, by the way.
If I Am Level was any more basic, it would require a punch card to function. It’s done in a style of very old era of video-games, which I can’t even call â€œ8-bitâ€, as it’s much, much more basic than that. In any case, the game is a strange combination of an old graphic and sound design, and a physical simulation. The player has to roll some strange round creature across a level, picking up little gems that are hanging across it, and move to other levels. The square mini-levels form up a giant maze that can be navigated in different ways, unlocking new parts as the â€œheroâ€ gets level-ups. The level-ups are gained once a certain number of gems is collected, giving the game a solid exploration element, and also make the hero a bit better, in whatever ways are acceptable within the game. Oh, and there are also lots of skins to change the hero’s outlook. There is no real action, as the hero is killed at once, when it touches an enemy. There are three lives to waste, after which the hero dies, and the player goes back to the last checkpoint.
As I said, I Am Level is physics-based, so it plays a lot more like modern arcades. The sphere rolls around the level, controlled by tilting the device, and can be launched across the level by activating special jump pads and levers that are activated by pressing on the screen. The momentum is always saved, so the skills are required just as much as carefulness, to get all the gems, without hitting none of the hazards. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by I Am Level, and it’s surprising amount of gameplay variety. I don’t really know whom to suggest it to, but I know I liked it.