If there’s one thing the AppStore is not short of it’s unique games. Due in part to the relative ease of the SDK, there are too many games to mention that try something different. One way to ensure you have a unique game is to merge two gameplay genres together, and this is exactly what Red Rocket Games have done. Take a platform game and mix it with a rhythm game and you have Mevo and the Grooveriders.
The story goes that in the beginning there was silence. Then Mevo and his noisy mates came and put an end to that, so silence got his revenge and captured Mevo’s mates. It’s your job to bring music back to the land and ultimately save your friends.
To play the game you must guide Mevo to the end of the level by tapping on the left or right directional buttons as he passes the corresponding icon on his journey. He walks automatically from platform to platform, and the icons will appear in time with the accompanying music, and you must tap and hold your way through the level. Unsuccessful taps of the icons will cause the music to scratch and Mevo to lose his footing. This affects his health bar, and should the bar deplete completely, it’s game over.
Undoubtedly the best part of this game is the music. Featuring chill-out style beats, and building as your progress the level and successfully hit the notes at the right time, it really is a treat for the ears. When we originally got hands on with the game at E3 the game was demoed through Dr Dre ‘Beats’ headphones, and I would recommend a good set of cans to get the most out of the sound in this game, though I don’t expect you to re-mortgage your house to get some Dr Dre Beats.
Graphically the game is good too, with some fun character art in the cut scenes and the in-game character of Mevo. The art style is 2.5D, with flat illustrated backgrounds behind 3D platforming elements, it all runs smoothly and ties in well with the music. The only downside is that at the end of each level I would have liked to see more of a celebration from Mevo with him getting down and funky… instead he jumps into the dark and fades to black.
Unfortunately, while the gameplay is fun and could easily be mentioned in the good section above, I found the challenge to be very low indeed. There are three levels in all, each featuring more intricate tunes. Then there are three difficulty settings to complete them in. Not one of these levels gave me any sense of fear for my life, and even on the hardest setting I didn’t die once. I’ll also add that I was on a bumpy train journey through the majority of my play through… it really is that easy! The hard part in all this is that I enjoyed every minute of it while doing so, which leaves me with a dilemma of how to score the game.
A second bad point, which might be justified based on the lowest price point of $0.99, is that the game is very short. You only get the three levels, and through all three difficulty settings I blasted through the game in little over an hour. When you complete each difficulty level you are awarded with special suits which can help you achieve betters scores, but once you have played through those levels three times you really want to move on. Once more the dilemma strikes, as during our E3 demo the developer assured us that there will be free levels added to the game regularly, and there may even be an option to play with your own music. Those additions would surely make this game a lot more appealing.
The bottom line
While it comes up short in both challenge and play time, Mevo still brings a smile to my face. The music is fantastic and the simple tap tap style gameplay is addictive. Sure it’s short, and we can’t base a game’s review on what it may or may not get in future, but I think it’s safe to say that Mevo is a must buy for the low price of $0.99.
Presentation and graphics
A fun and colourful 2.5D look and feel, which takes you to funky worlds above and below sea. But Mevo could do with some more moves other than just run.
Great use of sound, the music is awesome.
It’s great fun to play, but it’s too easy. You never do get to save your friends either!
Only three levels and three difficulties. You can replay them and shoot for higher scores with your unlocked suits, but it’s not enough. The promise of more levels, will increase this area greatly, so feel free to bump the gamelife to a 3.5 when this happens.
$0.99 is silly money, save your teeth and get this instead of a can of soda.