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Disoriented! Review

By , on February 22, 2011


Disoriented!
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Responsive controls; sharp direction detection whether rotating or tilting.
  • Challenging levels; split in to three difficulties.
  • Level creation tool; submit your best work and potentially add to the official levels.

CONS

  • Constantly flipping makes it hard to keep track of your location/direction.
  • Collision detection issues; objectives not collected despite passing through - needs to be dead-on.

VERDICT

Disoriented combines the skill and timing of Labyrinth with modern gravity-based platforming tropes to create something entirely unique, even if it doesn't always manage to mesh with the available control scheme.


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Although it has taken some time, platforming titles have slowly gained a bit more respect on the App Store. So much so that developers have started tweaking the gameplay with gravity-flipping mechanics that add an extra level of required skill. Disoriented by Vortex Games extends this concept to its extreme and while the idea is sound, it isn't without some rough patches.

The main aim of each level is to make your way to the exit door of the level, which is simple enough, however additional goals such as collecting various items and reaching the end within a time-limit will augment your final rating. However players have minimal direct control over their characters outside of changing the gravity to one of four different directions and moving the character left or right. By spinning your iDevice around you can affect the gravity within the level, however due to the sensitivity of these controls the game is best played like a game of Labyrinth with the device held flat and tilting to shift the gravity. Once your familiar with a particular control style it's easy to flip your way through complex, changing mazes and you may even find yourself constantly hitting 'replay' despite regularly dying.

Unfortunately the title is far more apt than witty as the quick rotation/tilting of your iDevice results in mild confusion, especially as you feel obliged to memorize the location of every item before playing the level. Of course this isn't a forced requirement, but simply making your way to the exit can be unsatisfying and constantly second-guessing your moves can quickly become tiring. Harder levels introduce traps and objects that are likewise affected by the gravity and players can create custom levels to test their creative skills and in an interesting twist, submit them to the developer for consideration as an official level.

Tumbling around the screen has its appeal and avoiding traps and completing levels by the skin of your teeth can be enjoyable in its own right, but the controls never really feel comfortable enough to truly absorb yourself in to the game. Ultimately, Disoriented is a hard game to enjoy despite the successful implementation of its core gameplay, but fans of games like Labyrinth may be able to look beyond these concerns.

Screenshots

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