I Am Level Review

I Am Level Review

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.

I Am Level 1If 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 “8-bit”, 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 “hero” 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.

KickStarter Spotlight: Blood Alloy

KickStarter Spotlight: Blood Alloy

Sep 18, 2013

We here at Android Rundown are an avid collection of gamers, and like most gamers we all have a strong appreciation for the classics which explains why we cannot leave a game like Blood Alloy alone and not feature it in this week’s KickStarter Spotlight. Taking cues from influential games such as Metroid, Turrican, and Dark Souls, Blood Alloy presents an intense, moody, and gorgeous 2-D shooter. The gameplay is very reminiscent of the original Metroid games in the fact that is a two dimensional open-world platformer, and the fact that the main character is female and partially robotic are not so subtle homages to the classic game. Blood Alloy looks to play much faster than Metroid, however, and I feel this introduction of breakneck speed will really set it apart from other similar games on the Ouya marketplace.

Jumping, diving, and shooting through each level is augmented by incredible art design that immediately reminded me of Blade Runner, and gave the game a cool dystopian feel. Talking to the developer behind Suppressive Fire Games; Frank Washburn, he noted that the artists who worked on this game were directly influenced by Syd Mead who, in fact, designed the art style of Blade Runner as well as other popular films such as Tron and Aliens.

Currently, Blood Alloy is only planned to be available on Mac, PC, and Ouya, but the developers are working hard to add the Xbox and PlayStation to that list. What is not being included are mobile devices. I was told that because of the hectic pace of Blood Alloy the use of virtual buttons would be “suboptimal.” This is wholly understandable as that has always been the major knock on mobile gaming is that flat glass is no replacement for tactile buttons and analog sticks. This rings especially true for a game that needs split-second reflexes in order to stay alive.

So, in conclusion, Blood Alloy is a game that seriously looks great and with its frenetic and stylized gameplay I have no doubts that it will be a game that we will be talking about for some time to come. Unfortunately, in order for this to ever see the Ouya it has to be funded; which is something that Blood Alloy thoroughly deserves.