Thursday, September 15, 2011

Floria - 0.99 (m42 Studios)

Floria is a new endless floater, and first iOS game, from m42 Studios. In the game, you maneuver a flower through different enemies and objects trying to collect as many items as you can before the summer is over and winter arrives. Collecting the orbs throughout the game will give you points that you can use to unlock different types of flowers that have different abilities and power-ups.

The controls in Floria work well, but are a little jittery. Tilting moves the flower up and down, and rotating your device clockwise moves it forward, while counterclockwise moves it back. These controls do take a bit of getting use to, but once you do, they work well. The graphics look amazing, especially on devices with retina display. The animations in the game are done very well too. The backgrounds seem to come alive as you move through the world, with everything blooming right before your eyes. The movements of the flower, enemies, and growth of the thorns all looks amazing. The music and effects are also soothing, and add quite a bit to the atmosphere of the game.
There is a good variety of enemies throughout the world, lizards, spiders, birds, bees, and more will have you waving and dodging your way throughout the whole game. Orbs that you pick up for unlock points also add to your main score, and each different colored orb has a different score amount. There are also flower pick-ups, which fill a gauge at the bottom of the screen, and once you collect enough of the flowers, you can trigger the power-up and become invincible for a short time. During this time, running into enemies and objects adds to your score. There is an animation addition for invincible mode, having small flowers fly in a trail behind you, and when the power-up fades away, the flower starts to blink. There’s also special music for when the power-up is active, so you’ll never be stuck coming out of invincible mode, and running into enemies thinking the power-up is still active.
Through the world, there’s also time stopping pick-ups, shown as hour glasses, and speed increasers, shown as little arrows, that you’ll need to collect in order to get as far as you can before winter descends. Hitting enemies and objects will cause you to slow down, and if you hit a spider web, you’ll need to shake your device to get out of it.
Floria is a great ‘how far can you get’ game, with some great scoring, and nice game mechanics. It desperately needs some online leader boards though, as the only replay value you’ll have is for unlocking the additional 3 flowers, and beating your own score. Once you unlock all the flowers, the desire to play the game will drop pretty fast, and it will most likely just end up sitting there on your device waiting for an update that will add more content.
However, the game is very beautifully made, and the gameplay you have will provide you with quite the experience. The graphics are top notch, and the jittery controls really just effect the look, not the gameplay. At $0.99, it is a great buy if you’re into endless or get as far as you can games. M42 Studios has done a great job with their first release, and I’m really looking forward to additions to the game, as well as what they’ll come up with next.

Floria gets a score of 7 out of 10.



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