Alcatrapz review (iOS / Universal)

April 18, 2013

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10 word description: Endless vertical side-to-side jumper. Avoid hazards, collect coins.

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10 word review: Considerable challenge. Falls short of standard set by stablemate jtpck.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Endless vertical games that are more “die every 10 seconds” than actually endless. This game is similar in concept to Mechanic Panic.

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The good news: One-touch control is hard to fault. Surprisingly high difficulty, right from the start, makes a nice change from the typically casual feel of many endless games. Despite the difficulty, there is plenty of one-more-go appeal.

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The bad news: The one-shot consumable upgrades seem way too expensive to me. The positioning of hazards often feels unfair and unavoidable, which could deter less masochistic gamers. I’m not sure if this is intentional or a flaw in the random generation of the environment.

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Arcadelife verdict: The previous game from this developer – jtpck – set a very high standard for one-touch endless games, that Alcatrapz struggles to attain. There are moments when the game elements come together and the experience rises well above average, but those moments are too few and the general impression is that the hazards are there purely to end your fun prematurely rather than to give you the satisfaction of avoiding them.

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A few tweaks to the difficulty, specifically around the sequencing and placement of hazards, and Alcatrapz would be an easy recommendation.

Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 6/10
Visuals – 6/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 7/10
Fun – 6/10
Final rating – 6/10


Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.1
iTunes link
Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 6.0.1)
4th gen iPad (iOS 6.0.1)

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