République is a stealth survival horror video game for iOS (coming later this year to Mac and PC). It is developed by Camouflaj and was originally released in December 19, 2013. The game features episodic content downloadable through in-app purchase and episode 2 was released on April 30th, 2014. The game is a full-blown mobile game made for hardcore gamers looking for something more substantial on mobile. The story follows Hope as she tries to escape a mysterious oppressive regimen with the help of Cooper (the game’s guide) and you. Hope’s not controlled directly, you navigate through security camera perspectives and “give her indications” on what to do next like in a point-and-click game.
République is a very ambitious project that started by being funded in Kickstarter, its storytelling is remarkable and intriguing, and the graphics are fantastic too. The games thematics on censorship, spying and control are very appealing and playing through the security camera’s point of view (ala The Machine on Person of Interest) is very appealing and unique in a video game. In the game you recover banned books and video games (that really exist) and many other items. The game’s quite massive for a mobile game and stands well against many mediocre offerings on mobile, however I’m not sure how it will do once it’s released on Mac and PC compared to other very sophisticated computer games.
I’m having a good time playing this game but the clumsy controls do get in the way. Maybe I’m just not good at this game, maybe the AI can sometimes be uncoordinated when trying to get Hope from point A to point B without getting noticed, or the controls are just not perfect; maybe it’s all three. But just in a single-sitting of playing République, I always get caught by the guards quite a few times and it can get annoying. Other than that, it’s a fantastic game that hardcore gamers with an iPhone or iPad could easily enjoy a lot.
Leo’s Fortune is an adventure iOS game, winner of the Apple Design Award 2014. This fantastic side-scrolling platformer has great controls and it looks gorgeous. The game was released a few months back, and to be honest I didn’t pay much attention to it because there are just too many fantastic apps out there so it’s just hard to keep track of small wonders like this, but when Apple announced it as a winner for their design awards it was an instant download for me specially at the discounted price.
The game looks even better with stunning detail when you actually see it on your iPhone. The physics used in the game are quite precise and environmental mechanics in the game are responsive. The game runs smooth like butter, almost literally specially when your sliding Leo around hills and upside-down loops. The game is quite rewarding to play and enjoy at a relaxed pace. There are no lives and if you die, you continue from the same spot on each level. But that’s not to say it isn’t challenging, for the most hardcore gamers, the game requires you to pass the level in a minimum amount of time, collecting all the coins and without dying a single time, to get all three stars; as if that wouldn’t be enough there’s a “hardcore mode” too, unlocked after you win the game.
The “24 handcrafted levels” are detailed and varied, and the mechanics for each level are only repeated within itself. So you get a level of just giant wheels with spikes, another with tumbling platforms, and so on. This makes each level truly unique without making the reuse of patterns and resources noticeable in the level design.
Besides the great balance in difficulty and level design, the outstanding visuals and the-easy-to-pick-up-but-hard-to-master gameplay, there’s one final element that is the icing on the cake in this award-winning game: the sound. Very few mobile games have a sound design that is talk-worthy and Leo’s Fortune is one of them. Leo’s voice is spot on, the sound effects are good and the orchestrated music is more than just good. A unique new game IP that I hope to see more of in a near future, I hope developers Senri can keep the marvelous game designs coming.
Our second Apple Design Award 2014 winner, iOS casual game Blek. The game mechanics are simple: draw a line (that will first bounce when you finish drawing it but will then repeat the same pattern you drew) to clear all the colored circles, the black circles kill off your line.
Colorful, minimalist and unique, Blek is a game that can be casually enjoyed. There are no complicated settings to distract you from your main experience; as soon as you boot up the game, it starts from the level you left off.
Blek is a simple game that is hard to put down but does require some patience and lot of retrying specially in the harder levels. The sound is great with mouth-made sounds that will make you smirk but will probably get a bit annoying after your 50th try on one of those difficult levels later on.
Developers Kunabi Brother are two brothers and Blek is their first game. The Austria-based Mikan brothers hit the right mark in this cleverly designed game. And to say that “it’s really something different, you should definitely check out” is really an understatement.
Get it in the App Store for only $o,99 for a limited time.
Check out other 2014 Apple Design Winners…