Infestor, the latest bite-sized platformer from Ravenous Games, is now available from the app store. Despite its clever “take-over” mechanics and signature graphics, the way-too-short level design, awkward button placement, and wonky achievements have caused this one to stumble out of the gates.
- Signature retro presentation and simple animations
- Chiptune soundtrack is terrific
- Touch controls are responsive
- GameCenter integration for achievements
- Very short levels and hardly any replay value
- Placement of C button is awkward; can’t customize control positions
- Not much challenge
Infestor offers 60 surprisingly brief levels wherein you control a small green blob of biological mayhem whose goal is to reach the level’s exit. In order to do so, you must take over the bodies of a handful of humans with unique abilities that will help him reach his goal. There are 5 main human types: Colonists (fast moving and able to jump high), Workers (box pushers), Guards (armed with guns), Overseers (able to open locked doors), and Jetscouts (can double-jump to reach high places). Attaching to a host human is as simple as tapping the A button on the screen’s right side. The same action will release your hold on the human, propelling the green blob into the air. This maneuver will be critical to reaching some locations in certain levels. Oddly enough, attacking humans is a ridiculously simple task, as they neither cower nor try to avoid contact in any way. The B button allows you to jump, with a second mid-air tap allowing Jetscouts to double-jump. Taking over a Guard causes a C button to appear near the center of the screen’s bottom, giving you the opportunity to fire at other Guards, Droids, or auto-firing turrets within range. The placement of this button is awkward and uncomfortable, though there is no option to rearrange the controls. Left/right buttons on the screen’s left side handle your movements.
The soundtrack features the expected chiptune music, providing catchy tunes to enjoy while playing. The graphics retain the style of Ravenous Games’ other offerings, as these levels would not look out of place in the League of Evil games. We really dig the style and the overall design isn’t half-bad, either. We were disappointed that so many of the levels seemed to be extremely short, acting as tutorials until halfway through the entire campaign. There was little to no difficulty involved with completing levels, and we only had to reset our effort a handful of times. There are no points or timers associated with your performance, nor are there hidden objects or areas to entice you to explore. Other than an occasional guard, a couple of turrets, or some electrified spike strips, there aren’t really any obstacles to kill you. Most restarts will be due to detaching from a human prematurely and finding yourself unable to complete some action that prevents you from reaching the level goal.
Replay value is low, as there is no quantifiable way to improve upon your performance. The only reason to keep playing once you’ve blown through the 60 levels is to earn any remaining GameCenter achievements, of which there will probably be few left after your initial playthrough. There seems to be some buggy behavior associated with achievements upon release. Every time we attach to a host body or restart a level, a GameCenter achievement pop-up appears on-screen when it should probably only have appeared the first time. Also, we have been unable to unlock the Your Own Medicine achievement despite using one guard to kill another as indicated. As a one-off experience and a way to kill an hour, Infestor fits the bill nicely. If you are looking for a little more staying power and a bit of a challenge, Infestor falls well short. A universal app for $0.99, Infestor racks up a 3.5-Dimple score.