Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CheeseMan - 0.99 (Alphanoize Games)

Super Meat Boy has been a pretty big influence on iOS games over the last year or so. Sadly, very few of the titles influenced by SMB really capture the true gameplay and challenge of the original. ChocoRun is actually the only title I can think of that really hit’s the nail on the head. However, the lack of virtual controls puts a lot of people off. Don’t Die and it’s invisible controls didn’t really sit right with gamers, and since virtual buttons were added in the last update, it really shows how funky the physics in the game are. Tobor had the potential to be a decent SMB clone, but sadly, the developers refusing to have any sort of control scheme but tilt put the game straight to the bottom of the SMB clone list. Well now there’s a title that, at first, seems like it might just have the perfect set-up to be the best Super Meat Boy influenced game in the AppStore. Alphanoize Games' CheeseMan. With its virtual controls, great physics, and some very nice level design, at face value, it stands out quite a bit.

So, first off, the major selling point for Alphanoize is the virtual controls. Left and Right buttons, along with a jump button, and the ability to double and wall jump. This is a highlight, as the controls are fairly tight and precise, except for when you’re in the air, and are trying to slow down or change direction, in which case, you’ll probably end up hitting whatever it is you’re trying to avoid. On the ground however, a slight skid is all you’ll need to get use to when changing directions at your characters top speed. For the level design, the controls work well enough to get through the game without any annoying issues, which is a big plus. The controls in other SMB clones are the cause of many un-necessary deaths, which is a huge issue for them. The physics are, surprisingly fairly good. Your cheese character isn’t floaty, or too heavy, which is very important for platformer games, as you might very well know.
You’ll be able to play with one of two different characters, a male and female. Neither having different abilities, or different types of gameplay, just an option to play with two different characters. In CheeseMan, you’re on a quest to save Cheese Land from Professor Mousky. 39 levels plus 3 boss levels (a total of 42 levels) spread across 3 different environments seems like it’s got enough level content. However, each stage only takes about 10-30 seconds to complete, meaning if you know what you’re doing, the game can be completed in about 10 minutes, maybe 20-30 if you’re trying to get a ‘3 cheese ranking’ in all of the levels. There is also one little white-ish orb hidden in every level, only 2 or 3 are semi-challenging to snag, but once you do grab them, if you die, you re-start the level with the orb, you do not need to grab it again.
This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the levels were challenging. For those of you who are familiar with Super Meat Boy, or probably the best Super Meat Boy clone in the AppStore, ChocoRun, CheeseMan’s levels will provide only a mild challenge when trying to race through them. In other words, if you’ve beaten SMB, or ChocoRun, CheeseMan will be a piece of cake. That’s not to say that the level design is bad. It’s not, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, more hazards and obstacles would have been great to see added to the game.
For $0.99, it is one of the better Super Meat Boy clones in the AppStore. I’d place it right under ChocoRun actually. Though with Don’t Die and Tobor as it’s competitors, that’s not really saying much. I will add that it’s closer to ChocoRun’s quality than to Don’t Die’s, which does count for something. CheeseMan is supported by GameCenter, but does not have any achievements, which is kind of upsetting, as it’s a game that pretty much writes the achievements itself; Complete World 1, Get 3 Cheese Rankings in Every Level, ect. There is a fogged out ‘World 4’ that is supposed to be coming soon in a future update, hopefully the levels will be more challenging. Actually, it would be great to see a difficulty separation for the game, having all of the levels re-worked, adding more hazards and obstacles to each of them, and keeping the original levels as the ‘Normal’ difficulty, and the re-worked levels as a ‘Hard’ difficulty. As it is right now, it doesn’t really feel like a true Super Meat Boy clone in terms of difficulty. But at its current price-point, and with the lack of SMB type games in the AppStore, if you’re a fan of Super Meat Boy, CheeseMan is a game that’s worth picking up. If you’re worried about the difficulty after trying out ChocoRun, and not being able to get through even half the levels, you can quit worrying. CheeseMan is actually one of the easier platformers available for the iOS, but it does show that Alphanoize knows what it takes to make a polished platformer with nice controls, and physics that work. I'm really looking forward to see where they'll take CheeseMan in the future, and will be keeping my eyes open for potential future releases.


Beating it in 10 minutes it's IMPOSSIBLE how did you do that , can you make a video of it ?


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