V is for Vortex review

V is for Vortex is a homage to the game Portal known for it’s portal teleportation gameplay. In V is for Vortex Jonathan Mulcahy continue the series that started with Z is for Zombie. Hand drawn stickmen against a sketch paper backdrop but instead of killing zombies our protagonist has to solve puzzles using his vortex creating cannon.

The puzzles come in the shape of 2-d platform puzzles where you have to get to the exit of the room. You control the character by tilting, and a hard tilt upwards makes him jump. Tap the screen once and the yellow from portal is created, tap again and the blue to portal is created. Simply walk into the yellow portal to teleport to the blue. This is the basic game mechanic.

img_0903One thing that becomes quite annoying is that when you have placed the blue portal in the wrong place you have to replace the yellow portal as well. This makes the controls quite cumbersome, and I think it should have been created with two buttons instead to choose what portal to create.

The 18 levels add more and more objects to interact with, and push into the portal to get a box to weigh down a button for example. Too many times the game is buggy, and I find the little dude stuck between a portal and an obstacle spastically twitching. There is no save game for the story mode forcing you to complete all 18 levels in one sitting. A free mode lets you play any level at any time outside the story mode.

img_0901The graphics are really sparse, and lacks both detail and movement. It is quite boring to say the least, and a large step down from Z is for Zombie. The music is just ambience, and you can’t play your own music either.
Gamelife is limited as there are no achievements or high scores. Without any save game system I doubt anyone will be too interested in playing through story mode.

To me the biggest concern is the controls with the alternating portal fire, and tilt controls that are too twitchy when precision is required. I can’t recommend V is for Vortex at all, and I really hope that future updates fix the controls, save game system and gamelife. Some of the levels feature quite rewarding puzzles, and the basic portal gameplay is quite fun.

Final Rating


V is for Vortex $0.99
Version: 1.0
Seller: Jonathan Mulcahy

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  • Jonathan Mulcahy

    This is the developer here, just wanted to post that version 1.01 just hit the app store the other day, and the control system was completely overhauled. The original system is there there, but the game also has onscreen controls, the ability to select which portal to open, and a bunch of bug and performance fixes as well.

    Version 1.1 is going to be submitted this week with 18 more levels.

  • Jonathan Mulcahy

    Developer here again, just an update, 1.1 is just about ready to be submitted, and instead of 18 levels it’s got 36.

  • Jonathan Mulcahy

    Developer here, 1.1 was released eariler this week, it was a HUGE update:

    ◦Saves your progress in Story Mode
    ◦Freeplay: Unlock levels to replay them & see how long your best time was
    ◦36 new levels (54 Total)
    ◦Achievements (7 total so far)
    ◦Total time to complete each game, tracked in the achievement’s section
    ◦Tutorial Mode – More responsive controls
    ◦Improved player movement
    ◦Poor Man’s LeaderBoards
    ◦Bug fixes / Collision detection improvements