Wednesday, 13 July 2011

reflow review

The debut from Xymatic has hit the iPhone App Store. Combining real world images from the camera, with neon particles, the goal is to direct said particles to a bucket. Not just a game that requires a good think, but one that requires you to explore the real world to find suitable obstacles. Sounds confusing, but it's really not...

The game converts the real world into a black and white obstacle course for an endless stream of neon particles. You must find a way for the particles to make it to a bucket, and more often than not, get them to pass through a colour changing box. The particles fall through the black space of the world, and collide with the white space. The more white on your screen, the higher your score. If you manage to successfully hit the bucket enough, you can share your final image with a number of social networking sites, as well as the option of saving to your photo album and emailing it to friends. It's a good feature, but it's hard to see many people using it.
Here, the letters are the obstacles. It's easy once you get the hang of it

The levels gradually get harder, and instead require you to avoid the colour changers, as well as forcing the particles around some insanely difficult angles. The best thing about this game is that you can play the same level over and over, but never have the same end image.

One flaw is that there are some really useful features, but they aren't explained at all. For example, you can invert the colours. If you see a perfect route to the bucket, but it's all in white, you can change the white to black, and black to white, in one simple gesture. Another feature is the ability to freeze the shot. Instead of playing the level with real time video, you can use the one static image. Amazing features but no explanation, which will probably lead to many players missing out on them.

A decent debut from Xymatic, which is both creative and fiendishly difficult. The only flaw being the lack of explanation, which can easily be remedied in an update. If you have an iPhone, this is worth your money.


by Louis Gardner

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