iOS mobile game of the week infestor
- Developer - Ravenous Games Inc
- Formats - iOS
- Device tested - iPhone 4
- Release date - Out now
- Price - 69p
In Infestor, you play as an experimental, sentient green blob that can latch onto people's faces and control their bodies. By "infesting" scientists, maintenance guys and guards you navigate a series of physics and platform based puzzles against the backdrop of a futuristic moon base. It's not hard exactly, certainly not to the extent of recent puzzle platformers like Super Meat Boy and Braid, but Infestor's chief face-hugging gimmick adds a welcome extra slant to the difficulty curve.
A typical puzzle set-up in Infestor involves a spike pit, a locked door, two roving guards, a scientist and an Overseer. The scientist is the only human agile enough to leap the pit, so you need to possess him first. Slither over using the virtual left and right arrows, tap the virtual 'A' button and splat, you're wrapped around his face and all up in his brain.
He runs faster and jumps higher than the blob can by itself, and with a tap of the virtual 'B' you leap the pit. The Overseer, who can unlock doors, is milling around on a raised platform, though, so you need to jump the scientist and tap A in mid-air to disconnect from his head and launch into the air, killing the poor schlub in the process. Taking over the Overseer means another tap of A (one of the most fun parts of Infestor is trying to land your flying blob directly on people's heads) and then you can use him to unlock the door.
Last are the two patrolling guards. You have to sneak up behind them, since they kill you in one shot, but once you've got control of their bodies you can use one to shoot the other by tapping a virtual 'C'. Once one guard's dead, you tap A to pop off the other, killing him, too, and seep down a pipe to the next level. Simple.
The whole body possession thing is a neat mechanic, in that it adds flavour to the act of picking up keys. A lot of platform or puzzle games have you collecting the purple keycard to unlock the purple door, or finding the block to push so you can move onto the next ledge. Infestor still does that, but with a touch of fiendishness and dark humour that makes normally cut/paste tasks much more colourful.
But it's also a little insubstantial. Ravenous doesn't do as much with the body horror/moon-base set-up as you'd like, as all the levels looks the same and people don't really react to the blob or their possessed friends. It could be funnier, basically, it could use the body control idea for more than just sexing up old mechanics. There's an aesthetic and maybe even a plot to be explored with the experimental green blob thing, but Infestor doesn't bother, and over its whopping 60 levels, begins to wear thin.
Other than that, this is a very good mobile game. The controls are simple and responsive, the puzzles are well-balanced between hard and rewarding and the pixelated graphics and 8-bit soundtrack have just a touch of cool. Infestor is good. It's fun to play, challenging and only 69p. Once you've finished with Temple Run 2, you should get on the App Store and download it.
Overall score: 7/10
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