30 Reviews in 30 Days, Day 13 – Artoon

So was I able to convince you that there are Xbox Indie games worth playing in my review of Groov? Or are there just too many dual stick shooters out there, and you just cannot bring yourself to play another no matter how unique it may be? Either way, I’m going to try again to convince you that there are good Indie games out there. This time, I turn to Artoon.

Q-Bert reborn?

So what exactly is Artoon? Well, it’s sort a a twisted take on Q-Bert. You play as Art, a bluish-gray bouncy ball with googly eyes who must bounce on different squares to make his way to the exit of each level. You can’t just bounce to the end, however. You have to color 60 percent of the locks in the level before you can finish.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, at its heart, Artoon is a very simple game. There are 2 things that make it a little more interesting, however.

Gotta get that high score

The main goal of the game is to get high scores on each level. You are graded on the levels based on how well you actually get through them. This score consists of three separate parts.

1. The percentage of blocks you cover: This should be pretty self explanatory. The more blocks you color, the higher the score you get.

2. The number of your combo meter when you hit the finish: For every block you land on, you get a boost to your combo meter. This is only true, however, if you do not jump on the same block more than once in a row or once it is colored. This would be much easier if there weren’t blocks out there with numbers on them representing the number of times you have to jump on it. Thing is, you can’t just sit there bouncing on it; the number will not decrease unless you bounce on another tile.

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The levels in Artoon are defenitely creative.

3. Your style meter: If you choose to, you can cut off your jump by hitting a button before you reach its peak. This makes it harder sometimes to hit the square you are aiming for, but it increases your style points.

What twisted mind thought of these levels?

If the score keeps you interested in Artoon, its the crazy levels that will keep you coming back for more. You face levels where you have to look into the light facing in one direction of the board; rotating the camera at all starts creating vertical hold problems that make it much more difficult to make you next jump. Then there are levels where the blocks become wire frames after you jump on them or rotate in rings both clockwise and counter clockwise. There are also levels where the background “skyscrapers” pule with the music of the level, distracting you from your goal and making you fall off. Basically, the levels can be almost sadistic, but they are also just challenging enough to be addictive.

If you are looking for a real deep gaming experience, this game is probably not for you. If you give it a try, however, I can almost bet you will fine yourself really enjoying this game. Artoon gets a 4 out of 5.


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