No, Through to Iota ain’t a mix ‘n match of Men with Brooms and Aliens. And because too few would want a curling game for the iDevice, we are left with science fiction; and for some reason -perhaps the ambient music, perhaps the glowing ‘pucks’- this game warps in to that genre while maintaining an iota or two of fun. After bugging my skills out for the best part of this long morning, my question to the dev is: can you make it through to iota?
Just as curling is a nitpicky game of mastery and concentration, so too is Iota (let’s just keep it at that) a game of concentration. The goal is to place each stone into its circular ‘homes’. Correspondingly, each home has a quota (indicated by a numeral) which must stop within its bounds. This is the hard part. To be honest, it took me more than 5 tries to even pass the first level. After that, however, I was on a short-lived roll.
Each stone has a power meter which goes from yellow to red and back again as you hold it. To aim, just swivel your thumb or finger which will aim the stone’s chevroned meter, and then let go. Timing is everything. Actually, aim is also important. Correction: timing and aim are everything. As levels progress, some very annoying obstacles will gather on the field of play, blocking easy shots, and sometimes forcing you to make strange ricochetting shots off of walls, and if you are very skilled, off of the obstacles themselves to come to a rest at home.
You can play iTunes music from outside Iota whilst pushing stones around, but to be honest, the default ambient music, while no The Orb, is good. Iota also puts out some interesting graphics. Yes, they are 2D and yes, perfectly old-school, but their 80′s sci-fi is pretty hot. Binary Dawn took a gamble though, because this sort of stylised graphics can backfire. I think that its simplistic visuals feed into the spartan ambient music, into the focused gameplay.
There isn’t a tutorial to lay the game’s ground work. Iota is simple but you may not immediately ‘get it’. Fortunately, there are no ‘lives’ nor are there a limited number of chances. If you fail, just retry; and trust me here, there will loads of retries. From the first stage, ‘alpha’ to the last, ‘iota’, there are a total of 50 levels to twist your noodle, and you can play in any order. My only concern is that without a tutorial or the ability to select music in app, and no leaderboards, this app lacks a few amenities which keep it from really standing out.
Is Through to Iota fun? Yes it is. In fact, I can imagine myself playing it for quite some time. Its simple gameplay earns a badge of honour in my eyes, but it lacks polish. The graphics and music are nice, but lack an ‘authentic’ old school feel. To make it really worth a GRAB, Binary Dawn will need to incorporate a tutorial, music selection; and in order to sustain sales among up-and-coming apps, a leader-board. In the end, Through to Iota, while fun, holds its own only as far as a TAP.
|Title:||Through to Iota||Developer:||Binary Dawn Interactive Inc.
|Reviewed Ver:||1.01||Min OS Req:||2.2.1|
|Price:||$1.99||App Size:||19.4 MB|
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