Duet (or Duet Game, as it’s listed in the app store), a brutally hardcore avoidance game from Kumobius, is now available from the app store. Following the die-early-and-die-often mechanics of titles like Super Hexagon and Pivvot, Duet offers another fantastic offering with minimalist graphics, a rocking soundtrack, and super-responsive controls that make for an experience that’s both frustrating and rewarding.
- Gorgeous minimalist graphics, smooth animations, and cool reset feature
- Over 50 campaign levels and an Endless mode
- Challenging level design and upbeat audio track
- Spot-on controls that are super-responsive
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements
- Difficulty will likely be too much for many gamers
You control a tiny red and blue dot, each fixed at the endpoints of the diameter of a circle in the screen’s center. The dots spin clockwise when you hold on the right side of the screen and they spin counter-clockwise when you hold on the left side. The screen scrolls downward, with white squares and rectangles acting as obstacles to be avoided by the dots. Some of the obstacles even spin as they scroll, making avoidance even more challenging. You’ll need to be quick, changing direction frequently, to avoid smearing one or both of your dots against the obstacles. Any death immediately sends you back to the beginning of the level for another attempt. Each of the roughly 50 levels lasts under a minute, with many requiring half that time. After completing the first several levels, you unlock an Endless mode that tests your ability to keep avoiding obstacles for as long as possible. This mode is slightly more forgiving as it gives you three lives that are slowly whittled down as you mess up and smash into obstacles. It also slowly replenishes your health over time, so the longer you avoid hitting objects, the more often you’ll be able to get tripped up without ending your run for good. Obstacles are broken into sections, so splattering your dots will send you back to the beginning of the current section rather than the beginning of the entire game.
Graphically, the minimalist style is very appealing, as the blue and red dots stand out against the dark backdrop. The background features ever-changing patterns that add extra flair to the experience. Duet supports both landscape and portrait modes, too. Animations are very smooth, and the reset animation utilizes a cool rewind feature that sends the dots back to the beginning like comets with intertwined tails. The soundtrack is fantastic, providing upbeat and enjoyable audio to complement the terrific visuals. Controls are dead simple to learn and extremely responsive to quick changes. Replay value is terrific, as the Endless mode allows you to chase high scores as you improve your skills. Additionally, each level has a target number of touches, awarding you with a Perfect rating if you can complete the level without exceeding this number. There are a pair of GameCenter leaderboards (Score and Total Finesse) and more than two dozen achievements to earn. A universal app for $2.99, Duet is an outstanding 4.5-Dimple game.