Reviews

Cameltry review

No, this is not a game about camel’s or rugby. It is in fact a rather enjoyable maze and ball game from Taito. I can’t for the life of me work out why it is called what it is, but at least the subtitle ‘Labyrinth of Enigma’ makes a little more sense.

Playing similar to TAG’s Rock’n'roll, the game puts you in control of a ball, which you must navigate to the levels goal. Unlike Rock’n'roll, you are not required to collect any keys; this is a straight race against time to the finish.

The playing field, presented as a top down maze, rotates around your ball. You have two control methods for doing this Tilt and Touch. I found the tilt controls to be a little unresponsive, and much preferred the touch controls where you simply tap on the left or right sides of the screen to rotate.

cameltry1As well as this you have the ability to tap the ball to initiate a quick jump. This is necessary when you come across breakable blocks.

Each level contains coins which you can pick up for extra points, there are various blocks which power you up, such as speed blocks which give you a quick boost, and time multipliers, giving you a few seconds extra time to complete the level. However, as well as these there are larger and more frequent time takers, which when touched shave precious seconds instead. Bomb blocks activate when touched and explode a few seconds later, so stay away when they start to flash as if they are near another, they will start a chain reaction. If you are killed you resume where you left off, and are momentarily invincible. A final and rather strange powerup [or power down] slows your ball down and makes everything in the ball’s immediate vicinity look deformed through magnification, it’s weird but looks pretty cool.

Visually the game is very appealing, the art is very Escher-like in style. Escher was an illustrator in the early 20th century who specialized in creating impossible patterns and perspective tricks that fooled the eye. Each level has it’s own particular theme, and after completing each level your viewpoint zooms out to a wall of paintings, and you zoom into the next painting/level and enter the labyrinth.

cameltry2Sound is good too, with the classical music melding with the art style particularly well. The music reminded me of echochrome, which strangely enough also featured Escher-like mind bending visuals. A speed-up robotic voice that chimes in with a count down to the level, as well as a congratulatory ‘excellent’ when you complete a level in time, seems a little out of place. But then again the whole game is a little eccentric in its presentation.

 

Presentation and graphics
3pt5-stars_sm
Cool art style, if a little eccentric. Looks like the designer had free reign on this one, but at least it’s original in that regard

 

Sound
3pt5-stars_sm
Great music, but the voice is a little odd and feels tacked on.

 

Gameplay
3-stars_sm
The levels are well thought out and get challenging later on. It’s quite addictive at times, but unfortunately there is no level save, so if you quit the game you’ll have to start all over again, so a point off for that.

 

Gamelife
2pt5-stars_sm
There are a good amount of levels but as mentioned above, there is no way to save, so the replay ability may lead to frustration. There’s a scoreboard, but with no online score component you’ll be challenging yourself only.

 

Final rating
3-stars

Despite the strange name Camel Try is an enjoyable maze game, while the gameplay is not wholly original the art style gives it a fresh edge over the competition. However, the lack of saving your progression is unacceptable in an iPhone game, and until that is addressed I would recommend holding off on a purchase for now. Cameltry is available now for $4.99 

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