It is said that the best ideas are often the most simple ones, and there doesn't seem to be anything quite as simple as the dot. Developers One Man Left seem to agree, as they've staked their entire game, Tilt to Live [App Store], on the premise of our beloved period; albeit the rapacious, hell-bent variety.
Tilt to Live is at its core, an object-avoidance game wholly utilising the accelerometer of the iPhone or iTouch to maneuver your arrow around the battlefield. I say battlefield, because that's exactly what is going on here-- the dots are out to get you and will stop at nothing. And it is remarkable just how much personality One Man Left have managed to inject into such a straightforward concept. These are certainly no ordinary dots-- these perilous periods make a point (ha!) of chasing you around the screen; coalescing into arrows and other shapes then hurling themselves at you at breakneck pace, or circling you like vultures, slowly closing in until it is impossible to escape. Make no mistake, touch even one of the hundreds of dots on screen at once, and you are history.
Sounds mind-numbing? Fear not! Our arrow protagonist has a range of very awesome weapons at his disposal to send these dots back to whence they came. Your arsenal really defines Tilt to Live because it shows an attention to detail and knack for the inventive that escapes many games we see on the AppStore. You start off with just a few basic powerups floating around the screen waiting to be collected. The most basic is a nuke explosive (Yes, a nuke is standard fare in Tilt to Live) but you also have a dot-seeking multi-rocket powerup and a haduken-style fireball which clears a portion of the screen in the direction you're facing. Each of the weapons require a different strategy to operate effectively and are useful in varying situations.
This thoughtful design factor continues through to the unlockable weapons, too, where eventually you'll unlock weapons such as a spike shield that lets you hurl yourself at dots as they literally cower away in fear or a vortex attack that sucks all nearby dots (and you if you're not careful) into a black hole, to name just a few. But it's the manner in which they're unlocked that I appreciated the most. Tilt to Live uses the AGON platform to deliver its achievements and leaderboard results. But, it takes the system one step further-- integrating in-game rewards for unlocking achievement points-- namely in the form of additional weapons. I'm ordinarily not one for achievements, but the added incentive of new weapons was enough to get me to actually pore through the list and attempt most of the nefarious challenges, a fact I found pleasantly surprising.
Tilt to Live is a game that draws you in with its edgy personality and inescapable 'just one more go' gameplay. It is gorgeously crafted and presented and has a wicked sense of humor to boot (just take a look at the loading screens to see what I mean). Completing its challenges and unlocking weapons has the added benefit of enabling you to achieve even higher scores and multipliers, meaning even those not normally counting themselves as completionists may be eager to experience the width and breadth of what Tilt to Live has to offer. This is one game that will remain a fixture on my iPhone for a long time to come.
As expected, impressions coming in from our readers are overwhelmingly positive. Be sure to check out the developer's YouTube trailer above for a preview glimpse of Tilt to Live.
App Store Link: Tilt to Live, $1.99.