Kid Vector's developer, Uncade, references the good old days on the game's iOS and Android pages, back when coins were collected instead of purchased. To that end, this is a lovingly crafted retro throwback, a platformer with the most basic controls (left, right, jump, double jump) and 15 punishing levels, as in you'll probably die. A lot. Yes, this game will take you back to a simpler time, but it's anything but easy.
With this in mind, you take control of an orange-capped stick figure, presumably the same one that starred in Uncade's soccer/combat mash-up, Blast Soccer. Your goal is three fold: make it to the end of a level, collect all the gold coins and, somehow, track down the hidden star in each stage. Everything seems doable. After all, we have more than two decades of platforming experience. Surely, we could grab a small amount of pocket change while hitting checkpoints and dodging a few spikes along the way.
Oh, how wrong we were. Kid Vector may only come with 15 levels, but the majority of these boards put you in the Lex Luger torture wrack, the Bret Hart Sharpshooter and even the Kurt Angle ankle lock. Suddenly, those simple red spikes give way to synchronized flames, disappearing platforms, laser beams, pits, UFOs, a terrifying space worm and even a space dragon. Forget about stars. We just want to live.
This extreme difficultly drives the game, and the person playing it, to greatness. One stage may take upwards of an hour to beat if you aim for 100 percent completion. What's that? Missed one gold coin because the platform gave way? Time to restart from the beginning, or mercifully, the checkpoint.
Meanwhile, the game has a slick old school presentation, with multi-colored vector graphics that still put Atari 2600 to shame, along with an equally cool chiptunes soundtrack that pays homage to late 70s/early 80s video game music.
Does it need more levels? Of course it does, but at $0.99 (a temporary sale price), Kid Vector delivers plenty of 8-bit charm, with tight virtual controls, punishing stages and a dollop of personality for good measure. We just hope Uncade has bigger plans for it in the months ahead.
What's Hot: Pretty vector graphics, chiptunes music, simple and effective controls, increasingly difficult levels.
What's Not: Only 15 stages.