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Gene Effect Review

By , on May 16, 2012


Gene Effect
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Gorgeous alien landscapes with spectacular lighting to explore.
  • Levels actually encourage exploration.
  • There is a sense of other-worldness and danger as you play.

CONS

  • The tutorials while helpful just make one long to play the actual game.
  • Nothing makes you want to read the story through the mission briefings.

VERDICT

Space exploration, mining, and alien life. Gene Effect is a slow paced expedition into a world fraught with intrigue and peril.


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Exploration is one of those aspects of games that can add so much to an experience. Maybe it's hard wired within us as humans, but part of what makes new game worlds so enticing is to map out and explore all their nooks and crannies, familiarizing ourselves with their landscapes, denizens, and secrets. Gene Effect has us ore mining on a distant world, surrounded by mysterious caves full of precious ore, but also strange plants, animals, and plenty to discover.

The game starts off with a series of tutorial levels explaining the separate game mechanics before the levels start to throw them all together. The tutorials aren't long or cumbersome so they don't bore the player, but instead the game presents itself as so interesting, that we were just wanting to be let loose upon this new beautiful game world rather than being slowly shown our goals within its borders.

Once out in the caves, the goal is to satisfy a quota of ore or colored crystal, deposit it at the machines, and then find your way to the warp gate to zap yourself to a new area. Travel around the caves is via on screen arcade stick, giving you tight and responsive travel in your explorations. Ore might be hidden under rock, or passageways may be blocked, so your ship is equipped with an emitter that can be charged up to remove these obstacles. An offensive lock-on explosive can also be obtained to remove hazards, but most of the time your explorations need to be cautious, discretionary, and methodical.

Finally the game's visuals need to be mentioned as the bizarre plant life and clever use of lighting effects makes this a world worth exploring. The game may be a little slow paced for some, but the main criticism is that what might be an intriguing story is presented in chunks of text before and after missions. Only the most dedicated of player will bother delaying their cave travels to bother, and a more integrated narrative would help to flesh out the world that's being presented.

At the time of this review, the price point is a little hefty compared to most apps, but Gene Effect does offer an engaging experience with a lot of content, and we here at AppSpy give it our recommendation.

Screenshots

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