mon 26/02/2024

Retry | reviews, news & interviews



Rovio shows it doesn't need feathers to fly


Since Rovio hit the jackpot with Angry Birds the Finnish developer has not been shy about pumping the franchise for all it is worth. There are licensed sequels incorporating Star Wars and Transformers characters, spin-off games like Angry Birds Epic and Angry Birds Go, board games, stuffed toys and even a movie in development.

While those furious fowl dominate Rovio's output, they haven't given up on indie gaming entirely. Not content with publishing third party games like Tiny Thief and Plunder Pirates, Rovio is also home to Rovio LVL11 - a development team dedicated to producing games that do not feature birds, angry or otherwise.

RetrySo far, LVL11 has come up with Selfie Slam, a gimmicky but fun looking mini game collection that is currently only out in Canada, Sweden and Finland, and now Retry, a game that looks at first glace like one of the many, many clones of cult favourite Flappy Bird currently haunting the lower depths of both the App and Google Play Stores. If you somehow missed Flappy Bird, you can play a web version here. The game uses a single control – tap the screen to flap your wings – and asks you to use a combination of flapping and falling to navigate a never-ending series of narrow gaps. It is notoriously, fiendishly difficult and its crack-like addictive qualities are purportedly the reason its developer pulled it from iOS and Android after a few weeks of frantic social media buzz.

Flappy Bird is undoubtedly addictive but its gameplay is also extremely repetitive, requiring the player to slip into the zone and tap with pixel precision and the kind of timing that ought to secure you a try-out playing percussion for the J.B.'s. Although Retry has some superficial similarities with Flappy Bird, the LVL11 team have managed to meld that basic template with varied obstacles and puzzlelike level layouts that may ultimately prove to be more fun.

In Retry's retro-pixel world you fly a tiny aeroplane by tapping the screen. Each tap sends you up and forward and just tapping and holding will quickly spin you up into a loop-the-loop. You start in a little airfield and must make your way to a landing strip at the end of the level. Along the way there is plenty of scenery – mountain sides, clouds, water, boulders and the like – all of which will cause you to crash if you so much as brush against them. If this happens you get to tap a RETRY button and, well, retry. And you will, often.

RetryThe controls (or 'control' really) doesn't quite obey real-world physics but it is consistent. You can quickly learn just how many taps how frequently should give you the correct amount of thrust and pitch to negotiate most objects. It is also rather unforgiving and any mistakes are very difficult to recover from as your frantic taps just translate into more erratic looping and your likely demise. To add an extra challenge there are several gold coins scattered around that you can grab, usually by pulling a loop in the correct place.

You can spend these coins on Retry points – empty airfields that are safe to land on and – once you have landed for the first time – can be activated by either spending a coin or watching a short video advertisement. Retry points make things much easier by allowing you to retry from part-way along the treacherous level so you can get that much closer to completing it without tearing out your hair or lobbing your phone under a passing bus. You can pay real cash for a supply of coins if you wish but the option to watch an ad instead is quite a canny (and presumably lucrative) move by Rovio.

Retry is a lightweight game meant to give short bursts of entertainment. It won't suit everyone and the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly, which may discourage some players. Stick with it though and you will find a well-crafted game that has been precision-engineered to keep you coming back for more.

Your frantic taps just translate into more erratic looping and your likely demise


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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