As the mobile market continues to swell we see more interesting iterations appearing in the stores and considering how reliant we are on mobile devices this is probably a good thing.
The game I’ve been looking at recently has been Beta Max which is a fun (and free!) platformer from SuperCookie Games.
With a strong resemblance to games such as Zool, McKids, and Mario, Beta Max is a colorful and light-hearted platformer that combines a lot of the classic platforming tropes with some more modern ideas.
The gameplay itself does not really innovate, bring anything new to the platforming genre as players are trapped with the common gameplay tropes seen within many platformers. There is a timer which decays over the level, however once it hits zero the level does not end making it feel a little poorly implemented, although it may alter your score..
The world has been created in a loving fashion with many vibrant levels, with some truly inspired art design. This helps create a colorful world that is visually pleasing and helps make for a fun game to look at.
Even though the art direction is rather strong the resolution seems significantly lower and some of the art ended up overly pixelated on my phone. I assume the developers created a lot of the artwork to be seen on much lower resolution screens and as a result a lot of the more modern phones and tablets may suffer from over pixelation.
Although I appreciate the game has no tutorial as a lot of the game is self-explanatory, I can’t help but feel a brief introduction would of helped a lot in outlining a lot of the basic interactions you have with the enemies. I only say this because some of the hit boxes felt odd and almost every time I jumped on the flying pigs I died, leading me to believe they could not be killed which, I later discovered, was not the case.
Although the colors are vibrant and varied, most of the levels actually start to feel very much the same and as a result your concentration and desire to beat this game will rapidly wan. For some reason once you beat a level you do not just start the next level straight away, you are always catapulted back to the main menu and as a result you will feel the game is rather disjointed and often lacks a fluid experience.
Although the difficulty is quite steep from time to time, this has been achieved by making everything on the level a one-shot kill. This gets very frustrating very quickly as you will often feel your deaths are cheap and cheat you out of your run. As a result you will be replaying many levels over and over often failing to make the same jump.
Beta Max is a fair attempt at combining nostalgia with mobile and you can see what they were hoping for in the design, and the way the game plays out. However the execution feels a little lackluster throughout and lacks much of what I hoped a game like this would bring me.
Beta Max is fun for a short stint but after you exit the app you will feel very little drive to re-pick it up. Maybe however Beta Max is better suited at a younger audience who may be slightly more forgiving. Although I can’t help but feel with so many free games on the Play Store Beta Max is easy to skate by and you won’t be missing much.
Beta Max is a free to play game that was reviewed on the Samsung Galaxy S4 running Android version 4.2.2.
[review pros=”colorful levels, easy to pick up and play” cons=”levels lack variety, not continuous, one-shot killed mechanic feels cheap at times, lacks innovation” score=60]