Spirit Review

Spirit Review

Jul 5, 2011

Spirit does things quite differently from most of the Geometry Wars-inspired “glowing objects in space” visual aesthetic games, though. In order to defeat enemies, they must be sucked into vortexes. To create them, the player must create them from the trails that emanate from behind them. Small vortexes are easy to create, but large vortexes require quick movement, as well as the skill to dodge any enemies that might get in the way while the vortex is being created. In Pulse mode, the trail rules don’t apply; instead vortexes are created by picking up icons that create a vortex on the spot. These icons oscillate in size, so picking them up when they’re largest is the goal.

The controls work on a 1:1 offset with adjustable sensitivity settings; it can be tricky to get used to the controls at first, but over time, they work really well. The game is quite different from many other games in its genre because of its vortex mechanic. It’s a lot of fun, especially in the Pulse mode, where it becomes about many moments of proper timing while trying to hit the pulsing icons at the right time, and trying to get as many enemies as possible in a vortex for more points, and to generate more multiplier icons. The primary vortex mechanic in Classic and Extreme modes is still quite fun, but there’s something about the simplicity of Pulse mode and its additional depth that makes it the go-to mode. This is a port of an iOS game, and the controls have translated great, though the game does seem to vertically stretch to aspect ratios taller than the original game’s 2:3.

There are no online leaderboards in this version of the game; the iOS version had OpenFeint support, so it’s unclear why this version doesn’t. Also, the app doesn’t resume from the last game played if it is quit, or even if the Home button is hit. This is a problem because on phones with softkeys, it is possible to accidentally quit the game while trying to make a particularly large vortex while engrossed in the game. Fingers can and will obfuscate enemies while on the board; learn to use the offset controls properly.

Spirit is another fun iOS title brought to Android, and while the lack of online leaderboards and the aspect ratio stretching are a shame, they are only minor quibbles on a fine title. Fans of ‘arena survival’ type games will want to check this one out.