Saturday, November 13, 2010

Game Review - Soosiz

Soosiz - $1.99 (Appshopper Link)

Mario-style platforming games are kind of a hit or miss with the iPhone's on-screen controls. Depending on how the developer implements the buttons, it could be very bad (like Mega Man II), or very good, like the game I'm reviewing right here. For action-platforming games, reflexes are key; being able to jump at a moment's notice to avoid an enemy or obstacle is the difference between life and death. The problem with on-screen controls is that there's no physical feedback for your finger to know whether you've pressed the "right button" (read: the correct part of the screen). In the iPhone port of Mega Man II, I too often found myself pressing not the jump button, but just one or two pixels to the left or right. Yes, that's a problem.

With Soosiz, on the other hand, the developers did a great job. The jump button is big and responsive, as are the buttons to run left and right.

So you're probably wondering "So what is Soosiz? Why is its name so funny?" Well, I can't answer the second question, but I can answer the first. Soosiz is unique in that it takes the 3-D Super Mario Galaxy style gravity mechanic and removes one dimension, to give you a rather fresh side-scrolling (and rotating) experience. In this game, "down" for your character is essentially the center of mass of the platform he's currently standing on.

You play as this strange yellow circle with big feet, big eyes, and green spiky hair. If I didn't know any better, I would think he's a mutated Goomba.

The levels are set up as a collection of worlds broken down into about 6 stages each, along with two or three bonus "collect all the blue coins" stages. The goal in each normal stage is to rescue all your buddies who have been scattered across the land. Some of them grant you special powers like higher jumping and faster running, which last until that stage is complete.

The gravity mechanic alone makes it worth checking out, though if you get dizzy easily, you may want to skip this one.

Soosiz comes in four flavors: iPhone/iPod touch full version, iPhone/iPod touch Lite, iPad full version, and iPad lite. Check out the appropriate lite version to see for yourself.

Check out my Soosiz screenshots at Picasa Web Albums