Despite embracing new technology and new ways to play games, there is always room for a bit of nostalgia. Much like a particular movie or piece of music, video games can take you back to your childhood. It’s here where ‘The Incident’ comes in. Its purpose is to inject a bit of retro into your life, and it does this by embracing both the old, and new.
Draped in pixelated visuals, The Incident puts you in control of Frank, a man minding his own business, when all of a sudden objects begin falling from the sky. What’s the reason for this sudden rain of home furnishings? Nobody knows, but whatever it is it’s coming from outer space. There’s an air of B-movie mystery to the story, but in all-intensive purposes this is a simple arcade platformer. Your task is to get Frank as high as you can above the rubble, all the while avoiding the falling objects.
Controls couldn’t be simpler, you move Frank left and right by titling the device, and tap anywhere onscreen to jump. A flashing prompt at the top of the screen alerts you to both the size and location of the falling object, giving you a few seconds to get Frank out of harm’s way. As the objects fall, Frank can jump on to them, and it’s best to keep him as high as you can. Frank will become trapped under objects though, and you can either nudge them out the way or if you get fully blocked off, you can shake the device to be beamed to the top of the pile (don’t ask why).
During your journey to the top, various power-ups float past in balloons. These include extra lives, health upgrades, quick rise power ups giving Frank a speed boost, and a hard-hat which gives Frank limited shield-like ability. Skull balloons also appear which take away health, so watch out for those.
Each level consists of checkpoints that you must reach. Should you be crushed and lose all your health before then, you’ll need to restart that section. There are copious extra lives available to you though, and so as long as you keep collecting these, and making it to each checkpoint with your health intact, then you should eventually complete that level and move on to the next. Levels are broken down by parts of the sky, so Frank begins his journey at street level and makes his way through the rooftops, sky, and eventually outer space.
The gameplay itself is pretty simple, but it’s highly addictive. The urge to climb further and further is strong, and fuelled by your curiosity for what different objects will fall next. Much like Katamari, there are hundreds of objects that fall from the sky. There’s too many to list here, but I’ve seen ancient statues, flux capacitors, MacPros, grandfather clocks, the Mona Lisa, cannons, lawnmowers, and rockets. When Frank is eventually killed, you are rewarded with an achievement stating by which object you were hit, as well as which height you came-a-cropper. My top trophy right now is Death by Surveillance Satellite at 50,030 meters.
Not only is The Incident’s large array of inanimate objects replicated beautifully in an 8-bit style, but the game’s soundtrack is suitably retro too. Not since Vector Blaster have I enjoyed the blips and beeps of retro music so much.
The Incident is an incredibly cool game, delivering addictive arcade platforming wrapped in classic packaging. It’s a budget beauty!
The Incident is out now for $1.99