Parallyzed: Surreal Platform Runner ($2.99) by Double Coconut LLC is a challenging runner game that tests your platforming and reflexive skills. If you enjoyed titles like Duet Game, Entwined Challenge, and Almost Impossible, then you will like what Parallyzed brings to the table.
While I may not always show my emotions clearly when it comes to various forms of entertainment like movies and television (with a few exceptions), I think it’s different when it comes to games. That’s because games let me take part in the story, and I feel a bit closer to the characters because of this. I experienced this with some games before, such as Stay, Mum, because who doesn’t relate to stories that involve close ties with family? Earlier this week I reviewed Roofbot, but I wasn’t aware that the same developers also had another game on the App Store — Parallyzed. I was intrigued to this title because of the sisterly bond thing, which I have in real life, so I had to give it a shot myself. Needless to say, while it comes from the same developer as Roofbot, it’s an entirely different game experience.
Visually, Parallyzed is gorgeous, as the game features an enchanting dreamscape setting that is full of both wonder and darkness. The character models for the sisters are drawn in a simplistic style but the design still stands out nicely, and the colors in the backdrops are vibrant and lush. But while the colored parts of the game look beautiful, there are plenty of dark elements as well, such as the Limbo-like silhouettes of the platforms and obstacles that you’ll come across. The light particle effects are done nicely, and the animations overall are smooth and fluid. The atmospheric soundtrack behind the game carries a rather spooky and eerie tone to it, which is fitting given the grim nature of the game. Again, Double Coconut has done another fantastic job in terms of visuals and audio.
While Parallyzed is a runner at the core, it is not an infinite runner, so it is level-based. The game starts you off with two tutorial stages that explain the core game mechanics before you are left to your own vices. In Parallyzed, you’ll find the story of two twin sisters who are deeply connected to each other, though they both have their own personalities, abilities, and attributes. But one day, the older sister, Red, goes into a jealous moment and pushes her younger sister, Blue, off of a swing, which resulted in her paralysis. With Red’s unique ability to enter Blue’s mind, she hopes to work with her to help bring her back from her coma and into the real world. The goal in each stage is to help both Red and Blue reach the endpoint in one piece, but it’s much harder than it seems, since you have to match them to their proper glowing light orbs and avoid dangers spikes and other hazards along the way.
In Parallyzed, players control both sisters at the same time as they run alongside each other in parallel platforms. If you tap on the left side of the screen, the sisters will jump. A tap on the right side of the screen lets them swap places with one another. The game starts out simple enough, but as you get further along, the levels pick up the pace, throw more hazards at you, and need you to switch sisters much faster. It’s also important to note the sister’s differences in size, because it can be used to your advantage. A good example is the fact that the smaller sister, Blue, can jump quicker than Red, but may not be high enough for larger spikes. Making sure to have the right sister in place to jump over spikes but also having them in their correct position for the light orbs can be a difficult test, but it’s great for those who want a challenge. There are other items that can also alter gravity, adding another twist to the gameplay.
While the levels can go quickly, things get hard fast. The game keeps track of how many attempts you try on each stage, and each failure tells you your progress percentage. What it comes down to in this game is memorization of the spots where you need to switch places and jump, because otherwise, you’ll be dying at the same spot numerous times before you’ll advance.
Even though the game only has a total of 14 levels, the difficulty level of the game is fairly high, so it will take some time to get through all of the stages. In fact, you will die a lot, hence why the game tracks the number of attempts you’ve done, though it’s just for good fun — the game doesn’t penalize you for more attempts, as the goal is to just reach the end. Parallyzed also has the ability to share your replays through ReplayKit, and a recent update gives you the option for an animated GIF to share, rather than full video.
I’ve only started with Parallyzed so I’m still early on in the game, and I’m trying to make my way through the first level still. As I mentioned, it’s a challenging game that requires good memory, patience, and stamina, because you will end up failing a lot. Even though it may be frustrating, I am still enjoying the game because of the exquisite aesthetics and music that send chills down my spine. The two-touch controls are intuitive and feel natural, which is always a good thing. And while the game does not appear to have a lot of levels, time and practice are required to get through them all (especially since it just gets more difficult), so I believe you get your money’s worth in Parallyzed. Just a fair warning to the casuals out there: this gloomy game is not for the faint of heart.
I recommend giving Parallyzed a go if you want a challenging platformer and reflex game and don’t mind a bit of darkness in the story. You can find Parallyzed on the App Store as a universal download for the iPhone and iPad for just $2.99. There are no in-app purchases.