Aerox, Synoptical Studios’ terrific marble-rolling platformer, is now available from the app store. With its multiple uses of the accelerometer and fun level designs, Aerox is a worthy addition to the genre.
- Clever level design
- Nice graphics
- Global rankings
- Some control difficulties
- Timer not visible
- Must hit back arrow to find out global ranking after finishing level
- Buggy level select buttons
Aerox brings 30 levels of increasing difficulty to the iDevice, challenging you to make your way across the elevated platforms to the light column at the end. Unlike the many other variants of this game type, Aerox also presents you with a handful of elements that you must interact with in order to meet your goal. There are blocks that must be pushed around to allow planks to touch the ground or fill in gaps, allowing you to pass into another section of the level. There are tubes that are just wide enough to allow you to pass through, rails that you must ride without falling off, moving platforms to traverse, jump pads that propel you into the air, and much more. Often, finding the best path involves a little corner cutting and problem solving. Your time is recorded (though not visible on screen) and you are given a worldwide ranking based on your speed through each level.
The game’s overall style is pleasantly minimalist. Clean, uncluttered platforms and a powder blue and earth gray color scheme are the hallmarks of the game. Little enhancements like lighting effects and subtle reflections in the ball really make the game pop. Framerates are smooth, allowing for stutter-free gameplay. The soundtrack is pretty simple, fitting and effective for the game. The controls are a bit on the wonky side. The ball physics feel a bit floaty, which is great when you are airborne and trying to reach a far off platform, but they can be tough to handle when maneuvering in tight spaces or trying to change directions precisely. After tapping the screen to start, all ball control utilizes the accelerometer, as do the camera controls. Tipping the device forward makes you go forward; tipping back slows you down. Left and right tilting rotates the camera angle, holding the bottom right corner locks the camera, and swiping across the screen also rotates the camera. It took a bit of getting used to, but we got a handle on things pretty quickly. The swiping didn’t work all that well, so it was good that we had other options.
Replay value is pretty good, as the world rankings give you an incentive to shave your time down to improve your standing. There is no social integration, nor any other bells and whistles of which to speak. The focus remains on the gameplay, which is quite engaging and fun. For $1.99, Aerox is a 4-Dimple offering that’s worth a look.
Aerox for iPhone Review,