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Review GrottyScape | Free
Interesting concept that suffers from poor execution
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 15 Jun 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Good looking pixel art, very interesting concept
The gameplay mechanics are boring, controls are intentionally awkward and frustrating
The new “endless” genre has had (probably) the most profound effect on the mobile games scene because every game seems to borrow from the genre in one aspect or another. GrottyScape for Android sticks out a bit because it’s not a reflex based game, platformer or anything like that. Instead, it’s a game based on survival. How long can you stay alive in a cave with infinite spawning monsters?
The game’s premise is an interesting one and makes it immediately more interesting than the others. The art design also helps it out a bit because it’s got this really cool pixel look going on that just draws me in. Unfortunately, that’s kind of where the attraction stopped.
The game has simple controls, but they’re made intentionally difficult which just frustrates me rather than encourages me to get better at the game. Movement is controlled by on-screen buttons, but to shoot you have to tap, hold, and release anywhere on the screen. Obviously, this takes a second and you can’t move, so you’ll have enemies flying at you and constantly moving towards you, but you have an insanely small amount of ways to avoid them.
The levels are also small and just not well designed. They aren’t open, they’re pretty flat, and they don’t give the player any opportunity to use the level design to their advantage. It just feels like the game was created to be against the player in almost every way possible.
Jumping into GrottyScape, I really wanted to like the game. It’s got an interesting premise, lots of replayability, and a nice look to it. But the game’s controls, while responsive, are just frustrating. Level design is poor, and ultimately it all culminates to create a poor player experience.