Idyllic! Review

By , on September 26, 2011

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4 out of 5


  • Gorgeous backgrounds.
  • Tranquil and engaging music.


  • Jumping feels a little floaty.
  • The game is a slow burn for unveiling all it has to offer.


Idyllic seems more a platformer made to relax the player rather than an engaging game. As long as you know what you're in for, it's worth a look.

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For a while after first playing Idyllic, we here at AppSpy were a little confused. Yes the visuals of this bizarre alien landscape combined with the amazing music indeed painted an idyllic picture, but then there was the gameplay. Every time the character we controlled touched one of the islands, the island itself would burst from gloomy blues into earthy greens and browns, but the trees would be destroyed, leaving only leaf-less husks. Was our character bringing life back to this alien world, or terraforming it to a color palette that those from Earth would find visually pleasing? As the game continued, the stumps would grow into vibrant green trees bearing fruit, but that question was still probing.

What we have here is an endless runner that's the definition of a slow burn. Your character floats through the air, able to double jump, and every time he lands on an island, the island is transformed, points are given, and the whole exercise is repeated. Coins litter the landscape that act as currency every time you reach the shops that serve as checkpoints. From there you can purchase upgrades to your abilities. Yes, aside from the double jump, you have two special moves in your arsenal. One is a pair of wings allowing you to safely float towards the islands, while the other is a ground pound. When enemies and mini-bosses finally appear, this ground pound (and especially the upgraded version) is invaluable in clearing the way.

As mentioned before, the backgrounds and music of this game are incredible. The character itself never moves, staying in the same leaning forward position for all of play, but this is not as noticeable as it might be when you're watching the strange world on which this game takes place. The music changes as the game continues, ramping up slowly as your terraforming powers increase, and more and more obstacles are introduced.

Game-wise there's really not too much to Idyllic. The slow reveal of what the game has to offer is a little too slow, and without the visuals and excellent soundtrack, this would just be boring. What we have here is a game where the entire experience means more than the sum of its parts, and it's worth a look for that alone.


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