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‘Oddy Smog’s Misadventure’ for iPhone Review
Review Score:

Oddy Smog’s Misadventure, a terrific new addition to the jumping-for-distance family of games populated by the likes of Jump O’Clock, Dizzypad, and Captain Ludwig, has been released by Medusa and is now available from the app store. Whereas those other games generally require you to simply jump from one spinning platform to another, Oddy Smog adds a good deal of difficulty and a bunch of different elements to really challenge the player.

Oddy Smog’s Misadventure Pros:

  • Great visual presentation
  • Spot-on controls
  • Nice soundtrack
  • Clever use of multipliers
  • Nice variety of platform types

Oddy Smog’s Misadventure Cons:

  • Initial learning curve
  • Currently no leaderboards

Playing as a small ball of smog, your goal is to break free from the clutches of the amorphous black mass, climbing higher and higher by clinging to the spinning gears and being transported great distances by grabbing onto special platforms. There are several different types of platforms utilized in the game, including normal spinning gears, gears that disappear after a very short time, gears that explode, gears that flip you into the air, gears that oscillate, and many more. A few special transport platforms can rocket you upward or teleport you to another location. Along your ascent, you’ll encounter prisoners, balls of black smog that climb the walls chained to large iron balls. Touching these prisoners will free them, creating a multiplier that can really drive up your score. You contact them by jumping at the wall. When you hit the wall, Oddy automatically climbs a few feet and launches himself back into the fray. You must time your jump to land just below the prisoner, allowing Oddy to catch up, tag, and return to his task.

The controls are extremely simple and well-implemented. Oddy starts the game by being propelled upward from the smog into a randomly-generated field of gears. The smog slowly rises from below, threatening to overtake you if you dawdle. Tapping and holding the lower-right side of the screen will grab onto a gear as you pass by. Releasing your finger will release your grip on the spinning gear, sending you off on a tangential path from the gear. Your momentum and position at the moment of release are crucial in determining the path that you take. This makes moving between platforms significantly more challenging than the aforementioned games, where you generally take off in a straight line from your position. As your release will often leave you shy of your target, tapping the lower-left side of the screen will initiate a mid-air jump, giving you another minor burst that is essential in reaching great heights. The game ends when the smog overtakes you, though it takes a few seconds to do so. There were several instances where we were in total blackness, only to work our way out and continue our rise. This made for some excitingly tense moments that we never experienced in similar games. Of course, spending too much time in the smog, or falling too deeply, will bring your escape attempt to a screeching halt.

Graphically, Oddy has a very stylish, albeit smoggy, presentation. The dirty air effects are a terrific touch, while the textured backgrounds add nice depth and the vibrantly-colored discs have a hip nightspot feel. The music is really effective and pleasing, creating nice atmosphere for the game. We agree that using headphones offers a richer experience that not. The controls, as explained previously, were terrific. We were especially pleased that there were no visible buttons, as that would have required mucking up the presentation and requiring more precise touching. As it stands, the current scheme is great.

Despite some initial difficulties with getting used to the timing of the jumps, we quickly adapted and learned how to find our desired path. Our most significant gripe, the lack of leaderboards, should be corrected in an upcoming update. However, launching a game of this ilk without them is a terrible oversight that we’d like to see developers stop making. Replay value is good, provided you give it some time to learn how to play. There’s a lot to like here, and we were pleasantly surprised. At its current price of $0.99, it’s a great value even without the leaderboards. Oddy Smog’s Misadventure is a 4-Dimpler that’s right on the money.

'Oddy Smog’s Misadventure' for iPhone Review, reviewed by AppSmile Team on 2010-07-16T02:56:16+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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