Surprisingly addictive and fun retro arcade style play
Author: Jay Feldman
Date: 16 Jun 2014, tested on ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
Interesting levels, really addictive, simple controls
Unbalanced difficulty, low quality graphics
VVVVVV for Android doesn't look all that impressive at first. But if you give the game a chance, I think you’ll find it very addictive. At least I did. I kept telling myself, enough! And pushed my tablet aside. But then I’d find myself thinking about it and reaching for my tab so I could play again and again. It borders on maddening at times, but that’s usually the mark of a great game.
VVVVVV has a very old school feel to it. I’m talking pre-Atari here. This reminds me of old Commodore 64 games I used to program as a kid. I’d spend hours and hours typing in code into my 64 running Basic. Then after hours and hours of coding (nothing by today’s standards of course) you had a game you could play. But there was no way to save any of your hard work. If you turned off your Commodore, then you had to start all over and reprogram everything if you wanted to play again. Thankfully, this game doesn't go that far with its retro realism.
You are the captain of a lost crew. Your mission is to find everyone and get back to your ship. The problem is, wherever you landed is a very complex maze and finding your crew is no easy task. The play moves in all directions as you walk trough this maze and come upon different obstacles and pitfalls. The play is simple and straightforward but highly addictive and surprisingly difficult to master.
The controls are very easy; swipe horizontally on the left of the screen to walk left or right; swipe vertically on the right of the screen to invert gravity and walk right side up or upside down. Deciding which angle to best come at the obstacles is the tricky part. Sometimes walking upside down is the only way to get where you need to go. Once you get into the thick of the game, you really need to be precise and switch your controls on the fly, or impale yourself on one of the jagged spikes.
There are checkpoints along the way, and the game resumes from those points if you die. And you will die, often, playing this one. This is one of those trial and error kind of games that you keep playing and replaying the same round until you get it right and make it to the next checkpoint. The graphics are intentionally rudimentary, which just adds to the throwback feel. But the play is solid and challenging.
VVVVVV took me by surprise. I really didn't expect it to be as fun as it is. Lots of interesting and silly levels to work through and this would definitely hold my interest over time. If you enjoy old school style games, this one is worth the purchase price.