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Manuganu Review

By , on May 20, 2013

Manuganu
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Lots of fun choices throughout the levels mix well with the constant addition of moves.
  • Quirky caveman aesthetic.
  • The stars soon become a challenge.

CONS

  • That one music track outwears its welcome pretty quickly.
  • Sometimes the collection of the items seems superfluous.

VERDICT

A runner based platformer that offers branching level paths and a pretty enjoyable time, even if it is a little simplistic.


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There seems to be a distinct lack of caveman platformers out in the gaming world. Besides Joe and Mac, and the Flintstones game, I can't think of any, and those were over twenty years ago. Well, developer Alper Sarikaya has answered the call with Manuganu, a game that takes a few queues from endless runners, a few queues from Bit.Trip Runner 2, and whips them together into something simplistic, yet highly enjoyable.

The goal of each stage is to get to the end, as obvious as that sounds. To start with, this task is easy as you only have access to a single jump, but as the game continues, more features of not only the levels are revealed such as wall jumps and travelling along ropes, but the ability to halt and an all too relied upon double jump are added as well. Jumping and double jumping is done with the jump button in the lower right, halting will stop you running into the pathway of a giant swinging hammer in the bottom right, and swiping down will slide under small crevasses. To gain the three stars in each level, various tasks must be completed such as gathering a certain number of coins or medallions, finishing without dying, or completing the stage in under a certain time. Seeing that most of the levels, including the early ones have multiple branching pathways to their end, sometimes a little hunting needs to be done to achieve these goals, and certainly more than a little skill is required on not only some of the later stages, but the unlockable bonus stages as well.

While the visual presentation is quite entertaining, with a rather simple yet vibrant 3D look to everything, the music gets really old as one track stays with you through your play, becoming a bit of an annoying accompaniment. Mention must be made of the jump as well. It follows a singular arc, often breaking some of the level flow by having your character hitting the side of a ledge and having to pull himself up rather than making a clean jump. Platformer aficionados will be looking to hold down the button for a little bit longer to obtain that extra bit of leap length, but sadly that won't help you here.

While enjoyable, the game is a little easy, even for those hunting for three stars. Veterans will likely plough through the content quickly, and there's little incentive to return. For those looking for a fun platformer with a great look, and don't mind the shorter play time, you might find what you're looking for here, while the rest will be waiting for some level packs to arrive.

Screenshots

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