One Tap Hero
This ingenious platformer won't fail to put a smile on your face.
If anyone was wondering how on earth you could transfer the hardcore and punishing gameplay of a game like Super Meat Boy onto touchscreens, then One Tap Hero provides a handy hint from the name alone. An anonymous white blob, in an endless pursuit towards the lady-blob of his dreams, roams freely around the screen, with only your simple actions interfering with his progress.
A single touch sends him leaping over a ledge. Another causes him to grab a ladder and start travelling upwards, resuming his earlier direction of travel at the top. A tap of a lever might transform the landscape entirely, forcing you into some quick-thinking before the approaching rubber wall turns him around to walk in the opposite direction.
As you make your way through the game's four chapters, new flavors are gradually stirred into the mix, and so the first stage typically requires delicate and precise jumping, while Indiana Jones boulders make their presence known in the second, and roaming deadly ninjas populate the third. The flow of the game is exceptional, and there's an almost rhythmic, hypnotic quality to One Tap Hero as your charcter roams the landscape with clockwork precision and predictability.
It helps to contribute to a learning curve that's unusually smooth for the genre, and the game hides its occasional frustrations extremely well. Some of the utterly horrific levels which I hope to never go near again become challenges, rather than agonizing, game-stopping blocks to progression. You can simply ignore them for the most part, and not feel too bad about it. You've earned the right to pass on these thanks to your more ingenious successes, after all.
And while you may be frustrated from time to time, you'll never feel cheated, something that's absolutely critical to the success of a game like this. Instead of ruining the more elegant and fair moments of the game's outstanding design, these most egregious levels become something to be savored once you've travelled the path to the game's conclusion.
Bold, ingenious, and occasionally delightful, you'll take the level design for granted until you stumble upon a new twist that manages to surprise you yet further, and these surprises are paced out with precision. Pulling a lever unlocks a travelling platform which you just miss, but you know you can grab precisely next time, if only you can continue to pull off your mastery of the earlier sections.
If you've tired of physics puzzlers and fancy a platforming experience with just a little more bite, then One Tap Hero deserves to go straight to the top of your download list. It's precision platforming at its best, with enough charm and ingenuity to win over even the most jaded mobile gamer.
What's Hot: Fantastic level design, precise controls, and a game that challenges rather than punishes.
What's Not: The spikier parts of the difficulty curve are a bit of a shame.