Wednesday, 15 March 2017

iO (Xbox One) - Review

iO is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £6.39.

After trying this game for a fair while, and rage quitting wayyyy more than I should have done in just the tutorial levels the temptation to just review this as 'too hard, avoid' is pretty strong. But I am not a quitter! So I carried on trying and trying and trying and trying and my god this game is ridiculous I'm still trying and trying and trying to get through the game. I still haven't completed it. Something with this just hasn't clicked with me. So I was gonna hold off my review until that magical moment in which it clicked and I could finish it and tell you about all of it, but I'm starting to fear that that moment will never come. And maybe it'll be good to read a review from someone who well and truly sucked at this game (who am I trying to kid?!).

So here I am and I wasn't lying when I said I rage quit in the tutorial. I really did. I guess that -especially right now - I feel so spoilt with good games that I really hate having to replay the same section over and over and over. I have much less patience for that kinda trial-and-error gameplay now than I used to. I have much less patience in general these days.

It can be difficult to review games like this. As much as I don't like to spoil stories for my readers I do like to play them out and let you know what I thought of the narrative in general. Games like this generally don't have much of a narrative, if any at all. These games have to be reviewed on different merits I guess; how intuitive the controls are, how responsive, the difficulty, the physics.

iO sees you control a disc that can shrink and grow. You use this ability to work your way through a myriad of levels which require you to grow to roll down a slope as fast as possible and then shrink quickly to fly the furthest. I guess my reactions aren't as fast as they used to be now, because it was always levels that did this that had me stuck for ages. I can't seem to get the damn thing to shrink fast enough to get it where I need it. Sometimes it did feel like the controls were working against me. The controls are intuitive, don't get me wrong, you use the left stick to move the disc side to side and the right stick to grow and shrink. But sometimes it felt like they (or possibly me) weren't fast enough for what was required. Let's be honest it's probably me.

iO looks incredibly barebones and it is a very simple game. It isn't for me, sadly, but that isn't to say that it isn't for everyone. I think the first two paragraphs of this review show quite well how I feel about platformers currently. Though with most platformers you do still get a moment to take a breath, stand still for a minute and assess what to do next. With iO you can't really do this, momentum plays a huge part in the solutions so pause for breath and face having to spend a fair while regaining the lost momentum. Some people will love this mechanics, but as I said I didn't get along with it.

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