Shane Rogers | Nov 30 2012 09:00 PM
If you are on the prowl for a new challenge and also have a thing for old school platform gaming, then look no further than 14px
from Drummer Games
. You just know that you’re going to be in for a good time when the game you’re playing keeps statistics on how many times that you've been killed by flying spikey things.
I've played some pretty frustratingly spectacular platform games in my time and have even been known to enjoy the torture that some of them can put yourself through. 14px is one of those games that, while difficult, is not overly frustrating to the point that you want to throw your phone across the room - which would not be a good thing. In 14px, you take on the role of a small black blob - I’ll just make the assumption here that the diameter of said blob is 14 pixels. You are tasked with maneuvering your little blob of goo through somewhat hazardous terrain in each level, ending with a portal to the next level.
As you make your way through each level, there are naturally items that you can pick up: coins and other black blobs that need to be rescued. You don’t need to get every single item to finish the level, but of course the completist in you will desire to do so. You might recall that I said something about 14px being a difficult game, what makes it so are the obstacles that are thrown in the path of your little gooey blob. Everything from ninja stars that have laser sight, spinning blades of insta-death, lava, spikes, falls...lots of good things that are completely hazardous to goo balls and splatter them all over your screen on impact - it’s actually a rather humorous and pleasant way to die.
There are four different over worlds to play through, each containing a decent amount of levels to challenge you. As if those weren’t enough for you, there is also an online level editor where you can go in and design your own layouts to play through, though you’ll have to do that on a desktop as there isn’t a way to create levels on your handheld.
One of the most important things to look at with a game of this style would have to be how it controls. There are two different control schemes that you can pick from with this game, the first places three buttons at the bottom of your screen (though you don’t actually have to press the button, you can opt to press any area of the screen directly above the button if you like) for “left”, “right” and “jump”. Using the jump button it is possible to double jump, or, if you are along a wall or ceiling you can continue to jump and wall walk (or ceiling walk) to get to some areas of the level. The other control layout is kind of an odd duck to me, as it adds another button and changes things up a bit - you still get the “left” and “right” pair, but it swaps out the standard “jump” with a pair of “jump left” and “jump right” buttons. I found that I much prefered the standard and default three button layout. The only nitpick that I would say as to the control schemes are that I have seen where it doesn’t scale very well to a larger screen - the buttons will fill the entire bottom of whatever real estate your screen provides. This makes it play much better on a smaller screen phone than a 10 inch tablet. The game does include something of a small "store", if you pause the level you are given the opportunity to trade in some of the coins that you've collected for another blob you can use on your current level. You can opt for a multi-jumper, a super-healthy, a high jumper or a speedy character. It brings a nice change of pace to a level.
Graphically, 14px is very basic - but it really doesn’t have to be too exciting to convey the experience. It’s pretty easy to tell what is going on, even though the graphics are a tad on the smallish side, so those that have issues seeing small text or detail may not be able to get much enjoyment out of this one. As far as in game audio and sound effects go, this is one of the better games that I’ve listened to in quite some time. As would be expected from a developer that calls themselves Drummer Games, the audio is beat heavy and easy to listen to.
There are two different versions available in the Google Play store: a free version, and a paid version for those that want to help support the developer. The paid version is just over a buck, so if you try the freebie and decide that it’s something you like and want to see more of, then grab the paid version as well. If you love a challenge then check out 14px, I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed.
14px is available on the Google Play Store