Surveillant Review

By , on January 31, 2011

Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Unique take on the maze/labyrinth concept.
  • Very easy to pick up; challenging to master on later levels.
  • Clean visual style; emphasises game elements clearly.


  • Touch controls not always responsive; currently being fixed in an update.
  • Short on content and variety; also being addressed in later updates.


Surveillant proves that you don't need a huge budget or a complex system of gameplay to generate tension while providing players with a unique puzzle challenge; a diamond in the rough worth checking out.

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One of the joys of the many daily releases of games on the App Store is stumbling upon unexpected titles that are refreshing, original and curiously addictive. Surveillant by Recluse Industries combines the simple challenge of exploring maze-like arenas while avoiding detection from the ever-vigilant surveillance camera and its deadly laser to create a challenge that requires quick thinking and responses to survive each level.

Initially the game takes things fairly easy, providing a variety of platforms that players can transport themselves towards as long as they can see the top of them. This can feel awkard at first as you initially assume that you'll be jumping between these platforms, but distances aren't an issue as you float between each pillar, slowly climbing your way to the central tower where the camera resides. Selecting barely-visible platforms can be problematic, though swiping the area can often make up for the poor tap-selection controls.

Survellant is a game about perspective, either avoiding the random-rotating path of the deadly camera; attempting to find the next-best jumping point to climb up higher; or more importantly a plateau that provides the correct angle to collect objects that activate important moveable platforms. The minimalistic 3D visuals work perfectly as platforms you can jump to are easily identified while panning the screen with the tilt controls. Enemies also stand out clearly against the flat colors, giving you plenty of time to search for a new route.

There's a surprising amount of complexity to surviving Surveillant's later challenges, though it's a shame there's not much in the way of alternate objectives to give the game more replay value. More levels are on the way in future updates, however the ten levels currently available won't take too long to finish with a bit of practice.

For a game that was created over a year in the spare time the developer had, Surveillant is a refreshingly unique maze-like game and a great alternative for those sick of the usual App Store titles.


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