Life is a bumpy road, and so is the new game coming from Simogo for iOS.
With their last game Kosmo Spin, Simogo offered a simple yet frantic gaming experience on the iPhone which revolved around collecting breakfast foods whilst avoiding a greedy alien armed with sports balls. The game boasted both interesting game mechanics and incredibly charming visuals.
Which seems to be a trend for Simogo. Although Bumpy Road is only their second game, their style is becoming easily recognisable – something which is even more apparent when considering that the devs had a hand in the charmingly cute ilomilo on Xbox360. Also, just like Kosmo Spin, Bumpy Road features a surprisingly simple and quite unique gameplay mechanic. It seems that Simogo have a knack for creating endearing and unusual iOS games, and I hope that this trend continues into the future. That being said, their next game will probably be a gritty, realistic, first person shooter, just to keep us on our toes!
But the future will bring what it brings. In the here and now, I have had a chance to get some hands on with a preview build of Bumpy Road which allowed me to play through a never-ending mode of this auto-scrolling platformer. The final game, which is due later this month, will also include a time trial mode along with Game Center support for leaderboards and achievements, and the integration of both FaceBook and Twitter. Although this was only a preview build of the game, everything was incredibly highly polished and worked perfectly, revealing how close to completion the game is, and the pride that Simogo take in their titles.
In a suitably charming way, Evergreen Ride is the name of the endless mode in which the player aims to score as highly as possible. This is achieved by traveling as far as they can without falling down a pit or running out of fuel, whilst collecting stuff that is found throughout the level. This stuff, which consists of all manner of different little things, not only adds to the final score, but also provides a means to refilling the fuel gauge which is constantly counting down as the love-struck elderly couple continue on their journey. Fill the gauge completely and the player will be treated to a short, hazard-free bonus section which is played out in black and white and at high speed, offering the chance to boost the final score. The player will also come across memory fragments which will, in the final build, offer an insight into the life of these two endearing characters.
How the game is controlled is where thigns get interesting. The little car will slowly move by itself, as the levels slowly scroll from left to right. The player can manipulate the road beneath the car with a simple touch of a finger, by pressing to cause a bump which can be slid in any direction to speed the car up or make it roll backwards, or with a quick touch causing the car to jump into the air. These mechanics can take a little getting used to when trying to get your vehicle to do what you want. But like all good games, it becomes easier the more you play, rewarding the player with ever higher scores. It is surprisingly precise and works incredibly well.
I have already used words such as “charming” and “endearing” to describe the visual style of the game, but the same words can be used for the games’ audio, from the simple accordian-backed menu music and the catchy tune whilst actually playing the level, through to the “plinky plonky” noises that are made when touching the road.
With not long to go before the games release, I look forward to trying the other mode and revealing the memories of this lovable couple. The combination of unique gameplay and charming visuals make this game one to look out for on the App Store. We will let you know when it becomes available.