I’d tap that
In order to highlight the great indie talents out there, we’ve decided to review one indie game every week. After participating in The Big Indie Pitch (http://www.touchgen.net/the-big-indie-pitch-we-want-more) at Gamescom 2013, we thought it’d be nice to dedicate a little more webspace to these great developers, as we were blown away by some of the great concepts and finished games at Gamescom. Look for more indie articles and interviews coming soon. This week, it’s Omicron from developers Canupa.
Never judge a game by its name. For example the title I’m reviewing this week, Omicrom, sounds kind of like one of the Decepticon Transformers, as well as the name of the hay fever eye drops I get over the counter each year in June. It certainly doesn’t make me think of a iOS puzzler where quick fingers rule the day. If next Summer I come across an allergy remedy called ‘Super Finger Dash’ in my local pharmacy, I’ll know what’s up.
Calling it a puzzler isn’t totally accurate however. On a grid where hexagons appear at random, your job is to tap the ones of the same colour to eliminate them until there are none left. Tap too many of the wrong colour and it’s back to the eye drops.
So it’s best described as a game of reactions. You’ll probably begin playing the same way you first learned to type on a keyboard – with one finger – and for a time, this is a pretty accurate manner of eliminating hexagons. But as you’ll soon discover, typing a letter with both hands is much faster, and tapping hexagons with multiple fingers earns you combo bonuses.
It’s not as accurate though (not on an iPhone anyway), and if like me you have thumb control as subtle as using a claw hammer to brush your teeth, you’ll greatly increase the number of wrong coloured tiles you hit, leading to many more forays into the game over screen.
But the by far the most devious challenge is the colours themselves. It’s one thing being quick enough to tap the simple, bold shades such as blue and red, but when the seductive female voice at the beginning of each level tells you to tap a colour which in my ignorance of advanced hue I can only describe as ‘Confused and Anxious Yellowy-Purple’, you’ll have a lot more trouble – and fun it must be said – picking them out. It’s so much easier dealing with hexagons who know who they are.
Omicron has a chic visual style which is simple, sharp and full of clean lines which look like they’ve been sketched directly onto your screen. For such an uncomplicated game, animations are surprisingly slick, and the music is blippy and fast paced enough to totally confuse your digits into messing up every few levels. Or maybe that’s just my eye drops again.
There’s also a versus mode which cuts your screen in half allowing two real-life human beings to play. As always, I much prefer this type of two player action on an iPad as the phone is a little too small for such shenanigans. I must also clarify that the phrase ‘cuts your screen in half’ should not be taken literally.
With the hexagon colours constantly changing, you’ll certainly be kept on your toes (or should that be fingers?) in this enjoyable reflex tester. Just try and stay away from the confused ones, colours with split personalities are always more trouble than they’re worth.
Developer: Canupa.com (Nemo Holtmann, Gregor Haase aka FineFin, Hannes Nordiek)