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Manos – The Hands of Fate review (iOS / Universal)

July 29, 2012

“The hand of fate is on me now
It pick me up and it kicked me right down”

10 word description: Very retro 2D scrolling platform/exploration adventure. Guns and bosses.

10 word review: Hard but very enjoyable; younger gamers probably won’t appreciate it.

You will like this if you enjoy: Extremely retro (in look and feel) platform adventures. NES games. A hell of a lot of perseverance; yes, I mean trying again and again until you get it right.

The good news: Astoundingly accurate retro gaming experience.

Cool, a 1up – what’s the betting I die while jumping back from there?

The bad news: Astoundingly accurate retro gaming experience. (Sorry, I know it’s a complete cliché to repeat the good news in the bad news section but, as this game is so incredibly retro, I thought I could get away with it just this once).

Arcadelife verdict: The high difficulty, Game Over = complete restart, fall = instant death and often evil level design could possibly put some people off. However, none of that falls outside the aims or claims of the game and anyone getting involved should be aware of that and not shocked when they discover that this is indeed a game without any semblance of a safety net.

Graphically, it is an 8-bit memory reborn on your i-device. The sounds are wonderfully prehistoric too. What is most impressive is the convincingly ultra-retro gameplay. You run, you jump, you shoot, miss and die. Over and over again. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the big, nasty boss at the end of stage 3 is completely overshadowed by the screen-smashing frustration of stage 4. That’s as far as I’ve got so far, but I keep going back because I remember this kind of eternal struggle from the dawn of ZX Spectrum gaming and I will not give up. Not today anyway.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 8.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 85/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Freakzone Games website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.1.1)
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)
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