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Coolness Only Goes So Far In Zeeek

March 18, 2013

Zeeek ($0.99) by Midgar Studio is a tragic combination of showing promise while being fatally flawed.

The evil lord Silencio intends to rid the world of music. Zeeek, an eighth note with stylish hair and a rocking guitar, stands up to Silencio and his horde of minions.

Similar to Rock All Zombies, this game uses rock and roll to fight against evil.

Sounds cool, right? Unfortunately, the user experience for this game is lacking.

The tutorial alone was a nightmarish experience. From the beginning, a prompt asks if you want to do the tutorial but the question is in French. Select “non” or “oui.” Regrettably, I selected “oui.” The game’s instructions switch back to English, though in a “all-your-base-are-belong-to-us” syntax.

What’s most vexing about the tutorial is how each dialogue box will only contain a couple of sentences (again, in broken English), with “continuer” as the button for closing the box. At least, it would appear that way. The boxes appear to be timed, allowing way more time than necessary for reading the words.

I stomached through the whole thing in what felt like five minutes. And the kicker? This really isn’t a hard game to figure out (at least at face value).

Two buttons control Zeeek’s movement; a jump button on the left and an attack button on the right. Double tapping the jump button will send Zeeek higher, and you can attack while in the air.

Collect notes as you move through the side scroller levels. Once you’ve collected enough, you turn into Super Zeeek. In the super mode you can fly after jumping in the air, and you’re invincible (except for getting stuck against an obstacle).

After enduring the tutorial, I was in no better shape for actually playing the game. The gameplay is completely unforgiving when it comes to bumping into obstacles. Failing to smash through a barrel in time results in instantaneous death, even if Zeeek hasn’t hit the edge of the side-scrolling screen.

More than once I would just suddenly die, without any clear reason why. Nothing screams “cold shower” more than getting wrapped up in the gameplay, only to have it yanked out from under you.

Perhaps the most amusing part about this game is when you are asked to type in a name. “Invalid” is pre-populated. I thought that would be a clever name, so I left it as is and tried to hit the “play” button. No go. I changed the name to my own, and it worked. I guess “invalid” really is invalid. Good to know.

The graphics and music for this game are awesome. It’s just a shame that it is fundamentally flawed with bugs. A free version is available, which I would recommend before committing the $0.99 for the paid one. The game is available for iPhone and iPad.

Continuer to the App Store to check it out.

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