Goro’s Way (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

Goro’s Way (Review) iPhone/iPod/iPad

A cute 2D platform creature trying to eek out a living in a cruel 3D shooter world. That’s as close to “you had me at hello” as I get.

I’ve long been a sucker for this now-underdog genre, which when done well matches the best of its rivals in offering new things to explore and discover. But Goro’s Way is like that pretty girl who turns out be not all that bright (or, in my case, probably acting stupid hoping I’ll go away). The initial charm wears off upon realizing there’s not much depth and some flaws are hidden underneath the makeup.

Goro’s task is navigating not-very-big levels of platforms shooting bad guys and collecting diplomas. Unlike many platformers, jumping on enemies will not kill them. Collecting all the diplomas advances you to the next of 44 levels in four worlds. Their size and challenge increase at a reasonable pace, but the element of novelty doesn’t – eventually levels break out of their construction site setting and offer new elements such as trampolines that have to be strategically positioned by dragging, but their introduction takes too long.

Layouts and creature movements on each level are always the same, so memorization should get most players through with persistence. The “should” is not entirely an accidental qualifier, since I found the four touch screen buttons (left, right, jump, shoot) less responsive than I’d have liked. Complicating this aggravation is dying means starting a level from scratch and I found myself more than an occasional victim of an “easy” section where a screen tap didn’t register.

A few other things are irritating as well. You wind up taking a lot of blind or near-blind leaps of faith, landing on platforms with creatures that kill you before you can react. Getting a platform barely in view and waiting for an enemy to appear often works since shots are rather forgiving – I hit enemies obviously off-screen and as much as a girdler-level in height above/below me. Also, I noted Goro got “hung” up standing near the edge of surfaces he should have been able to move on, with a jump to a safe location the only remedy. An infrequent bug that never caused an untimely death, but undetected nonetheless.

A feature I really didn’t like is the player only gets a limited number of “continues.” Nearly all games of this type save your progress after every level or a series of them, and forcing the player go back and repeat everything from the start just seems like begging for them to move on to something else as soon as they run out of chances.

Goro’s Way lives up to its visually cute billing and the longer you play the more entertaining the game becomes. But it’s questionable how many platform fans will stick with it that long.

By Mark Sabbatini
Goro’s Way by Pixel Mines Games
$1.99
Platform Reviewed: iPhone/iPod (Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later)
Category: Platform
Languages Supported: English
Rating: 4+
File Size: 9.8 MB

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