Review: Red Game Without A Great Name
Red Game Without A Great Name is a side-scrolling action adventure puzzle platform arcade game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS Vita. Red Game Without A Great Name is iFun4All’s debut game which originated as a game jam, although everyone on their small team of only eight people appreciated the tone and premise of what they had created within the duration of the game jam; resulting in an iOS release followed by a Vita port.
The story revolves around the scenario of a hostile steampunk world in which the only means of long distance communication is via the postal service; therefore a special mechanical bird with the capability of teleporting from one spot to another is invented to bravely deliver people’s letters on a global scale.
Red Game Without A Great Name possesses 60 levels containing collectables in the form of 180 gears with 3 gears per level spread throughout the entirety of the game.
The character design centres around a mechanical bird who starts out and finishes every level in a cage that flaps its wings during flight when moving from one area to another point of interest. There are 3 power-ups which look similar to gears that can be utilised by your mechanical bird as they provide temporary abilities including destroying cracked obstacles and invulnerability to damage.
The environment design is effectively an evil character in itself as the surrounding environments are predominantly red; therefore suggesting everything is potentially dangerous which is absolutely accurate as traps including sharp edged objects such as barbed wire, spikes, windmill blades and more besides are progressively introduced.
The control scheme is quite minimalist as it is a purely touch screen focused control scheme consisting of tapping the touch screen to release the mechanical bird from a cage to start the journey through the level and swiping across the touch screen to designate the route in which the mechanical bird must take around obstacles and traps, while tapping the pause icon situated on the top right of the touch screen displays the pause menu, although there is no alternative control scheme for the face buttons, analogue sticks, d-pad or rear touch pad.
Graphically, Red Game Without A Great Name utilises various shades of red overlaid with dark silhouettes to create a dark, moody and atmospheric vibe to the world in which your mechanical bird is attempting to traverse, while respectively highlighting specific details in nearby structures. There are also some incredible backdrops such as the sixth level including what appears to be or is inspired in design by the Golden Gate Bridge.
The presentation of the game is solid yet minimal with a great touch screen based user interface across various menus such as the main menu, level selection menu, options menu and various gameplay menus, although there is no support for navigation via the left and right analogue sticks, directional pad and face buttons. The background of the menu screens are comprised of a multitude of red tones.
The audio can be pretty minimalist at times, although there are a few sound effects to keep it flowing at any given moment including the flapping of the mechanical bird’s wings following teleportation, collecting a gear, a scream when the mechanical bird has been caught by a trap, the cage being closed when you reach the end of the level and ambient sounds such as water surging from broken pipes and steam rising from vents, while swing music provides an appropriate soundtrack.
The trophy list includes 9 trophies with 5 bronze trophies, 2 silver trophies and 2 gold trophies. The easiest trophy has to be the I Would Have Given Up Long Ago bronze trophy for dying 50 times in a single level, while harder trophies include the You’re the Best of the Best silver trophy for finishing all of the levels with 3 gears collected and the Death Fears You gold trophy for finishing all levels flawlessly. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 5 to 10 hours to 100% the trophy list.
There are no difficulty levels, although the difficulty curve sees traps including barbed wire, spikes, windmill blades and more besides which are introduced to the surrounding environments in order to impede any chances of a trouble free continued traversal as you will have to restart the level if you are caught by any of the traps. Another area of difficulty is having to manoeuvre your mechanical bird fast enough in order to not be left behind as the screen scrolls to the right with your mechanical bird situated to the left having to move in tandem with the pace of the screen or you will quickly find yourself having to restart the level.
Red Game Without A Great Name does not feature any multiplayer modes, although local multiplayer could have provided a race between two mechanical birds to survive the traps and compete for who delivers the mail fastest from the start to the end of the level, while pass the Vita multiplayer could have produced the same idea albeit as an individual time trial rather than being on the same screen. Online multiplayer could have featured ad-hoc or global online multiplayer for 2 to 4 players in the same approach as local multiplayer with each player competing to deliver the mail faster than the other players in addition to surviving. Every multiplayer component could have also provided customisation such as the amount of consecutive rounds on the same level or multiple levels and how many failures to complete a level before a player has automatically lost the round. There are also no online leaderboards which could have included two categories covering the amount of gears each player has collected throughout the entire game and the fastest time set for completing each level and the overall completion time of every level by each player.
Replayability stems from having 60 levels containing a total of 180 gears to collect, while overcoming a variety of traps which result in you naturally having to play the majority of levels multiple times anyway due to traps not exactly being easy to overcome. A further area of replay value includes revisiting levels to improve your level status such as the amount of times your mechanical bird has died from coming into contact with a trap or being left behind the screen to flawless for completing a level without dying and collecting all of the gears throughout each of the levels.
Overall, Red Game Without A Great Name provides some fun and challenging puzzle gameplay which is perfect for fans of side-scrolling platform, puzzle, action or adventure genres, especially given such amazing value at a price of only £3.99!
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Artistic use of shades of red and silhouettes to create a dark, atmospheric mood
- Teleportation gameplay mechanic
- 60 levels
- 180 gears to collect
- Replaying levels to improve your level status to flawless
- The amount of traps and obstacles will naturally result in you having to restart levels multiple times without a sense of frustration
- Budget price of £3.99/$4.99
What I Dislike:
- No pass the Vita multiplayer
- No online leaderboards