Vlad Review

By , on November 5, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 6 months ago

Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Nice gothic aesthetic.
  • Puzzles are taxing.


  • You can't help but trigger the Control Centre tab during play.
  • Close the tab, and the level resets.
  • Block puzzles aren't particularly thrilling.



Though it looks fantastic, Vlad is an average puzzler made unnecessarily frustrating by its ill-considered swipe control scheme.

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With a name like Vlad, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Bulkypix's latest interactive effort is about the nocturnal adventures of a vampire. Though the game is dark and eerie, it has nothing to do with the children of Dracula, and everything to do with rearranging blocks. It's up to the player to move sentient blocks around each stage in order to help a squiggly-blobby thing called Vlad reach an object at the end of the level.

Vlad moves forward automatically, stopping if he encounters an obstacle. The blocks scattered around the environment have a variety of different properties. Some are inert, and perfect for making makeshift walkways or elevators. Another is explosive, allowing you do destroy obstacles or platforms which are obstructing Vlad's path.

Nailing a touchscreen control scheme is always tricky. However, it's rare that the operating system itself gets in the way of your gaming. You know how iOS 7 lets you swipe up at the top of the screen and down at the bottom of the screen to open the calendar or options menu? Well, a lot of the blocks that you need to swipe to move are situated at the very top or bottom of the screen. Attempt to move them down or up, and you'll wind up activating the menues instead. Worse still, once you dismiss the menu, you'll often Vlad has been killed, and the level restarted.

If this just happened once or twice, we would simply warn players to watch out for the issue. However, this problem crops up constantly throughout the game.

It's a shame, because we like the concept of Vlad, and the visuals are top drawer. The puzzles themselves can be a little oblique, especially if you're looking to collect all three of the bonus objects hidden in each level. Even without the menu issues, the explosive blocks are so volitile that you have to handle them with kid gloves - something which is tricky when you're trying to move the block and mave the camera with the same gestures.

As for the menu problem, you can turn off the Control Centre access in the iPhone or iPad's Settings menu. Still, we're shocked that the developer has released the game without making any reference to the issue. In the end, Vlad is requires a little too much work for its reward, making it more frustrating than anything else.


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