You would be forgiven for thinking I’d given up the writing game but alas I am back once again to delight and amuse (read: annoy and bore) you all with another little review of another lovely little title that has captured my heart.
A Ride into the Mountains
Chia-Yu Chen & Lee-Kuo Chen
Those of you who listen to the podcast will already know I have been struggling to find a game worthy of sinking my teeth into after beating “The Last of Us”, little did I expect that the game to snap me out of my funk would be such a simple little gem.
The premise is not an original one, you play a young man, an evil has been released … you must stop it, hardly ground breaking stuff but it’s the presentation and the execution which has won me over. It’s always nice to stumble across a title which tries to do things a little differently, not satisfied with being a just another build and go title or a rehashed puzzle game or a blatant rip off of another succesful title, a game that takes on and brilliantly utilises all of the functionality of our ever-present pocket pals is difficult to find …. this is one of those games.
The core of the game play surrounds guiding our pixellated hero through a series of levels taking down evil shadow creatures with your bow, whilst dodging their attacks with the maneuverability granted by your trusty steed, it all feels rather easy at first but the learning curve proves pretty steep. Every shot counts and the game can be brutally punishing should you let yourself down with a mis-timed loosing of your bowstring. The enemies get smarter, faster and more aggressive as the ride goes on and the end of stage bosses can and will destroy you time and time again.
Being both simple and brilliant at the same time is a feat few manage to achieve but here we have a game that pushes the boundaries of mobile gaming, which all the while retains a strong sense of familiarity kind of like an exotic oriental tea in your favourite old mug. By combining elements from all kinds of genres the Chens have come up with a formula for guaranteed success, I think I have figured out that formula have a look for yourselves and see what you think.
Can you figure this one out? I’ll give you the cheat sheet at the end.
As with another of my favourite mobile games (Super Bros “Sword and Sworcery”) this game opts to go with a pixel art style rather than attempting to create console level graphics on your smart device. This coupled with another excellent midi soundtrack lends the whole thing a delicious vintage gaming feel which I suppose is part of the reason it feels so familiar to me, but this familiarity should never be confused with a lack of imagination because the world created here is one of much mystery and intrigue. Anyway what are you still reading this for? The game is less than a buck/quid go buy it and see for yourself.
P.S. For those of you who are interested and didn’t already figure this out the formula…. it means nothing it was just an obscure way to reference a load of games that this one is influenced by without actually naming names as such, the rundown of the games is below.
If you take the epic adventure nature of SotC (Shadow of the Colossus) and divide it by the serene peaceful surroundings of JnY (Journey) times that by the simple controls of aBrds (Angry Birds) add the square root (side scrolling beat em up mechanic) of SoR (Streets of rage) and take away the shitness of build and go games like FVil (Farmville) you’re left with x i.e something marvelous like “A ride into the Mountains“.
Thanks for reading.