continue?9876543210 ($3.99) by starvingeyes is one of the most unique games you’ll come across this year. If you enjoyed games like Sword & Sworcery, then you will enjoy this one. It is similar to it, but with a bit more action and weirdness, according to the app description.
I’m definitely a fan of the unique games that come out on iOS, and this is no exception. Immediately, I was drawn in by looking at the screenshots in the App Store, and I was intrigued, so I decided to give it a try. If you like games that don’t baby you throughout the beginning, and also quite a challenge, then you will definitely want to try Continue?9876543210.
As I just mentioned, the graphics are what drew me into the game. It’s blocky and pixelated, similar to Sword & Sworcery, but rendered in 3-D, like Minecraft. What you end up with is something that is beautiful, charming, and plays homage to video games and computers. Even though it’s all done in the blocky art style, I found the environments to be very rich and detailed, and it looks absolutely fantastic on Retina screens. And if you are one to enjoy game soundtracks, Continue?9876543210 packs quite a punch in this department as well. If you really want to enjoy the game’s music, then I recommend you grab your best pair of headphones and kick back with the game — it’s quite an experience.
It’s a bit hard to describe what the game is, because I’m still working on that myself. I haven’t gotten far in the game, but I’m slowly working it out. Essentially, the game is about what happens with video game characters after they die, as you can probably tell from the introductory sequence. Your character will be different each time you start over (there are six total characters you can be), and levels are randomly generated (a total of 11 areas), so you never have quite the same experience each time. You need to help your character find peace in his final moments before permanent deletion as he wanders the recesses of the Random Access Memory.
The controls in the game are the weak point for me. You move your character around with the virtual d-pad in the bottom left corner, and then attack with the action button in the bottom right. You will also find yourself in some dream battle sequences, where you will also have a button to jump in addition to attacking. The problem with this is the fact that both buttons aren’t marked and look very similar, so it confused me at first, and as a result, I died. I hope that the developer can make the buttons a bit more clear for new players, because in the current state, it’s not very player friendly, in my opinion.
I didn’t really care for pressing the buttons to move in a specific direction, and I would have actually preferred a virtual joystick for this game, as that’s what I kept thinking it was at first. That would explain why my movement was all choppy and dumb, because my finger kept going off of the d-pad. It definitely takes some time to get used to. I would like to see more control options at least, so everyone can find a control scheme that they are comfortable with.
In the beginning, you will have a help console that will explain what you need to do to pass the level. You will find other characters scattered throughout the area, and you can interact with them. They may give you items, clues, or just talk with you, but they will disappear once you interact with them. Sometimes the “garbage collectors” will appear, and you need to fend them off before you get deleted.
You need to build shelters for hiding by offering prayers, and then get lightning to clear the path forward. Fighting off the garbage collectors will only delay the inevitable, but the more time you have, the more you can think, wander, and contemplate before being deleted. The developers claim that everything in this game has a deeper meaning behind it, which is up to you to figure out.
This is definitely a unique and charming game, and one that you should experience for yourself. I am absolutely in love with the visuals and music, and the gameplay is a nice breath of fresh air from the tried-and-true game formulas that populate the App Store every day. I just wish that the controls were a bit better, as it’s the biggest flaw of the game for me right now. And if you aren’t a fan of freemium models, then rejoice, because this is a premium game with absolutely no in-app purchases.
I highly recommend checking out Continue?9876543210 if you are looking for a new adventure to sink your teeth into this week. You can get it in the App Store as a universal download for $3.99.