Diversion, Ezone’s 3D side-scrolling platformer, was just released and is available from the app store. Drawing some inspiration from Mirror’s Edge and giving gamers an early look at the environment of the upcoming Hoverworld, Diversion provides a startling amount of content in a crazy fun little package.
- Colorful 3D worlds full of obstacles and hazards
- Great soundtrack that doesn’t overpower the game
- Dead simple single touch controls
- Tons of levels and unlockable outfits for plenty of replay value
- Gradually introduces new elements throughout
- No leaderboards or achievements to earn
- Somewhat repetitive
Diversion contains 100 levels spread across 3 different worlds, with the last 10 levels acting as endless bonus levels. Each level is a hovering obstacle course that introduces new elements and dangers at a gradual pace. You play as either a man or woman who constantly runs through each level, collecting as many purple gems and yellow stars as you can nab while performing a range of athletic maneuvers to avoid bombs, spikes, sharks, lava, and other harmful areas. You’ll also need to time your moves properly lest you miss a platform and plummet to the clouds below. Running into walls will cause you to scale them automatically, running onto a declined ramp will initiate a slide, and falling just short of a platform will allow you to hang by your fingertips before clamoring back up to safety, but you also have the ability to jump, fly, and swim at the single touch of the screen. It’s highly intuitive and quite responsive. There are a wide variety of elements that add a ton to the gameplay, which gets increasingly frenzied and challenging as you press on. One of the early hazards that you’ll encounter are bouncer bombs that provide a jump pad (and a gem) if you land on them or hit them from below, but if you run into one, it’ll explode and send you catapulting over the edge.
Collected gems can be turned in to unlock new outfits for your character. There are over 150 different looks for the runner, and while these outfits don’t alter character attributes (no better jumping ability or speed differences), they do provide additional incentives and eye candy to enjoy. The Retina Display supported 3D worlds look great, using vivid colors and nice animations. There are a number of randomized platforming elements that provide a different experience each time you play. The physics engine is quite good, though you’ll want to play on a higher-end device to keep things running smoothly. We did experience some minor lag on a 4th gen iPod Touch from time to time, but nothing that negatively impacted the experience. The audio features the robotic voice of GarBot1, host of Hoverworld, who also comments on the action in Diversion. The soundtrack is pretty chill mix of electronica and atmospheric tunes, providing some nice ambiance rather than trying to overpower the gameplay. Controls are strictly touch-based, utilizing a single touch (or touch-hold for continuous jumping or flying) anywhere on-screen to effect a context-specific behavior. It couldn’t be any easier.
Replay value is great, with a ton of levels, endless run options, a huge catalog of outfits to unlock, randomized level design, and gems and stars to snag. We can see ourselves playing this one for quite some time, as the game remains fresh for a while. There are no leaderboards or achievements, which feels like a missed opportuinity. At an introductory price of $0.99 (there is an HD option for $1.99), Diversion is a 4.5-Dimple stud and an easy recommendation while we wait for Hoverworld to take shape.