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Gleamer Review

By , on September 12, 2013
Last modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago


Gleamer
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Clever level design.
  • The momentum mechanic is unique.

CONS

  • Some stages require superhuman levels of accuracy.
  • Music and sound effects are a little on the crude side.

VERDICT

If you're looking for a new spin on the platformer, Gleamer's momentum mechanic offers a unique challenge. However, iffy production values and an intimidating difficulty curve make it tough to wholeheartedly recommend.


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Gleamer is a platformer which combines simple shapes, basic controls, and a pulsing electronica soundtrack. The goal is to collect all five stars as quickly as possible, allowing you to move on another of the game's 50 stages.

It all sounds rather standard doesn't it? However, it's amazing how one little mechanic can make all the difference.

Your cube moves automatically, and reverses direction when it hits the outer edge of the level. Every time it does this you gain speed. The stages are designed to take advantage of this speed boost, as you often need to build up momentum in order to jump gaps or avoid fatal collisions with red barriers.

Dying simply resets your position, leaving you with all the stars you have already collected. But too many deaths will affect your completion time. This ticking clock adds a speed running element to every level, one that will have you restarting upon every error, trying to find the perfect way to acquire those five stars.

This is where the puzzle element comes in, as many stages (especially after world one) will require precise momentum manipulation to complete, as well as perfect jumping and timing skills. While frustrating, the sense of accomplishment can be quite high when you finally complete a stage that was driving you mad. But the sharply increasing level of difficulty is really going to put some players off.

The low-fi electronica soundtrack is a bit on the irritating side, too. The visuals also dim throughout each level. The devs were probably going for a pulsing neon effect, but it wind up looking like your phone battery is wearing out.

Gleamer's interesting speed mechanics and level layout deserve praise, but the presentation and challenge severely limit its appeal. Hardcore platform fans may enjoy its brutality, but anyone else will probably find their patience tested.

Screenshots

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