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Sphoxie Review

By Dave Flodine, on December 10, 2012


Sphoxie
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Cruise-y jazz tunes.
  • The enemies are quite clever conceptually.

CONS

  • Cumbersome controls and level design.
  • Ugly visuals (aside from the intro).

VERDICT

A 3D roll and eat game that needed some more time to work out its kinks.


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While the iPhone has created a resurgence of 2D platforming titles, the 3D platformer has been kind of neglected. Perhaps it's because the added challenge of creating a camera and a three dimensional space worth exploring is a daunting task, but regardless, it makes it so that when a 3D platformer is released, it's almost a novelty. Sphoxie is such a platformer. You play the titular named character who is a sort of blue sphere who gets sucked into a portal and trapped in a hostile world of cubes and angles. Each level is a timed race to the end while collecting as much energy as possible, and avoiding all the nasties that inhabit this inhospitable land.

Sphoxie is controlled by placing a finger on the screen, and moving it in the direction you wish to travel. The game responds well enough, but it's more the level design that hampers movement through halting acceleration, and a 'look before you leap' mentality. It's interesting enough flying off platforms to ones that are placed far below, and just making the landing, but the majority of the game is following the trail of yellow cubes, collecting the red ones (both are needed to complete three stars), and trying to avoid the enemies as you head for the exit.

Now the enemies are worth mentioning as they are quite cleverly designed. It doesn't seem that they are trying to harm you, but are a little attention starved, and with no concept of personal space, are consistently trying to hug you. Now if this affection should send you careening over the edge of a platform into oblivion, well it feels like that wasn't really their intention. They come in different types as well, such as the darkness blocks, who take away your vision the closer they get to you.

The game world does have a dreamlike quality to it, but while the use of color works, the pixelation of the graphics make this look a bit like an early 3D title from the Playstation 1 era. With a little more polish on the controls, design, and smoothing out the graphics, this could be a must have for fans of 3D platformers. As it stands, some might garner some enjoyment but it is a little rough around the edges for most players.

Screenshots

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