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rComplex Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on March 22, 2012


rComplex
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Intriguing aesthetics; otherworldly and engaging with its barren, but realistic environments.
  • Achievements provide some replay value for those who manage to complete the game.

CONS

  • Poor control design; poorly matched with speed / perspective - swipes register too slowly.
  • No alternative control scheme - buttons to speed up reaction times would help.
  • Jumping feels awkwardly floaty; nightmarish to pull off on inclines.
  • Glitches such as gun firing automatically at level start; also, progression not always saved correctly.
  • Lacks quick restart feature; dying is your fastest option.

VERDICT

rComplex suffers greatly for its focus on style over substance, choosing to provide players with a beautiful game, complete with an intriguing story, only to make it inaccessible thanks to poor design choices when it comes to the basic endless-runner gameplay.


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The App Store isn't hurting for variety in its gameplay. While some gamers bemoan the inevitable slew of titles that ride the coat-tails of a successful franchise, the upshot is a refinement of the gameplay in to something resembling a genre. As such there are often minimum expectations for such games, especially when so many have tried and failed already, making large missteps hard to forgive.

rComplex by Interwave Studios has sadly fallen in to this situation and while its unbelievably intriguing presentation begs you to keep playing, the flawed control system goes a long way in destroying any goodwill you may have for the game.

The end is nigh and you're on your own as you sprint through an abandoned city-scape, lovingly detailed, but stark in its presentation. Objects are darker and shadowed the closer they are to you, pulling out in to the distance through shades of red and through to a tantalizingly blue - a beautiful, but impossible to reach harbor of safety from your current predicament.

You're afforded the ability to shoot at the tentacled doom chasing after you, though bullets are limited in supply and should you get caught you'll need a handy scythe to escape and continue running. Swiping allows you to jump or slide, avoiding color-coded obstacles in your path.

If this was all there was to proceedings then the game would be short, but insanely engaging thanks to its well-vocalized narrative. Sadly the player floats Luigi-style through the air, making the impossibly short time you're given to react to obstacles even shorter as the collision detection is utterly unforgiving. Add in to this the awkward choice of whether you swipe on the right side of the screen, potentially obscuring obstacles, or the left side, potentially wasting precious ammunition due to poor gesture recognition.

The end result is a game that constantly pulls you out of the moment while providing no checkpoints or speedy way to restart a run safely without committing virtual suicide.

Until it's updated, rComplex will remain a beautiful, but flawed title that's hard to explore.

Screenshots

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