As I sit down to write this review, I can't help but notice that it's rather late in the day -- evening, in fact. The plan was to get this post up and out hours ago. The problem here is the fact that I've been playing the game that is the focus of this review, Forget-Me-Not [App Store] from Nyarlu Labs, this entire day -- from initial download in the wee morning hours to moments ago. Whenever I managed to set it down, just minutes later I felt that a little bit more "research" was needed. And, I have no doubt that before this post is through, yet more research will be called for. That is how excellent this retrolicious lovechild of PAC-MAN and Rogue truly is.

This game is just awesome. It drops your blocky little onscreen avatar into the top level of the ever-changing, pixellated NEON DUNJUN on a mission to collect flowers, shoot monsters, gather fruit, grab the key, and get to the next floor -- and fast, lest the waving ghost of motivation appear! When you collect all the flowers on the floor, the doorway to the next floor appears, and from there you just need the key (which the monsters are fond of running off with). Collect as many flowers as you can in an unbroken sequence to see some real score multipliers kick in.

You're constantly shooting in the direction you're headed, but you're firepower (and health) can be increased with potions collected after slaying certain beasties. But, there's another attack mechanic at your disposal, as well. The game utilizes a swipe-anywhere control system, and you can swipe your next move while still heading down the current corridor. If you do, until you get to the end, you'll "grind" against the wall. Grind enough and you'll start to glow and take on destructive powers so mighty that just walking into a monster will destroy it, and a speed-boost comes with. But grind too long and it's basically -- POP!

As for the floors themselves, you'll not frequently see one twice, as they're procedurally generated and wrap edge to edge. The bolts you're constantly firing wrap right along with them, so be careful the path you take unless, of course, you've got a nice, big, bolt-deflecting metal key in tow... A very nice touch, that.

Certain characters are a little more "interesting" than others. There are basically stationary, as well as walking, time bombs that just need one shot to start their countdown to exploding and taking out walls and anything else around them. And then there are the little guys that toss fireballs over the walls at you. A peaceful place, the NEON DUNJUN is not.

Forget-Me-Not offers three different playmodes. There's Standard mode where you try to progress as far as you can with multiple lives and the ability to gain new lives along the way. Survival mode grants you one life only in a bid to see how long you can last. And, Shuffle mode presents levels in random order. It's great fun for one player, but there's also a two-player, split-screen mode for same-device fun with a friend. Game Center integration keeps the competition stiff.

This game is just incredible. Every regular readers knows that I'm a retro nut, and Forget-Me-Not has retro goodness in droves. Of course, I love PAC-MAN -- and it's here. Dungeon crawlers are also a favorite of mine, and that, this is. So to me, Forget-Me-Not is just about the perfect game. Oh -- and, for those who've been wondering, I went back for two more "research sessions" during the writing of this article.

I urge everyone to check out the video and give serious thought to picking up this Universal (iPhone, iPad) App Store gem. If my testimony isn't enough, check out our forum readers' thoughts on this one (spoiler: they love it).

Nyarlu Labs previously brought us Magnetic Shaving Derby for the iPhone.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Rad

    Thanks Blake !

  • amroc

    Definitely buying. Magnetic Shaving Derby was awesome. Go Nyarlu!

  • Anonymous

    Just when I thought I'd praised this game enough, Blake comes along and gives me a new platform :)

  • Anonymous

    Just when I thought I'd praised this game enough, Blake comes along and gives me a new platform :)

  • Lord Gek

    I never knew Pac-Man could inspire such a cool game!

  • Anonymous

    Oh this is SO insta-Buy!

  • http://twitter.com/rocketcatgames Rocketcat Games

    This isn't a sequel to Magnetic Shaving Derby at all.

    Really cool game

    • Anonymous

      I liked your comment 'cause I like your games.

  • Blind

    Sounds like a great game... I'll definitely be picking this one up on your recommendation.

    Honestly though? This is probably the poorest-written post I have read on toucharcade. I guess Nyarlu Labs should take it as a compliment that you're too enthralled by their game to bother editing... but come on, guys. You have readers to impress, too...

    • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

      Once you've played it though you'll see that he pretty much covers the mechanics of the game, even if it seems like the review is low on criticism. You could sum up any of the 80s arcade games that Forget-Me-Not draws from in just as few words.

      • http://toucharcade.com blakespot

        The only criticism I could raise is the lack of music, but after playing for a while (before writing this review), I came to the conclusion that the well done and plentiful sound effects work better alone. Certain things going on in the game as the levels add up can be detected by the sound effects while you're looking elsewhere on the screen. I think that music would honestly get in the way.

  • Geraldthepig

    Anyone know if this game will have GC achievements soon?

  • UnableToUpdate

    Unable to update any apps in the app store, iPod with 3.1.3.. just happened last week didn't. I can still install new apps. Any idea why? (This game looks awesome but I'm hesitating on buying and not getting updates)

    • nyarlu

      No idea about your updating problem, but, if you can't update.. don't buy Forget-Me-Not yet!! v1.0 has a bug which makes it crash on iOS 3.1.3 sadly.. there will be a bugfix update soon.

      • UnableToUpdate

        Thanks nyarlu!
        I'm keeping my iPod on 3.1.3 but waiting for the iPad 2 buzz to die down so I can pick one up. Neat looking game.

      • Nyarlulabs

        bugfix update came out BTW.. this now works on iOS 3

  • Anonymous

    Considering that Pacman's original creator intended that game for women, it's not surprising that a pacman-inspired title would take things further in the same direction, at least stylistically. Even so, the way some reviews have described the combo and movement system gives me the impression that this could be a solid arcade game whose gameplay might have universal appeal.

  • bobful

    "You're constantly shooting in the direction you're headed, but you're firepower"

    YOUR firepower. Please get an editor.

  • EastsideStompers

    Nice little game. A bestiary would be a nice touch. I'd like my enemies to have names: ) Also, I keep being awarded an extra life every so often....why? Did I reach a certain score? And, are flowers cumulative? They seem to get added to the previous games flower score, rather than standing alone for that game.

    • GDog

      Every 100 fruit you collect gives you an extra life. As far as I can tell the total flowers thing is just for show but I'm not positive.

  • Hello_halo

    This would be a perfect game, if it had Fling support. I really dig this game and love the look and sound and then some. But come on, the controls are tough to swallow, aren't they?

  • Hello_halo

    This would be a perfect game, if it had Fling support. I really dig this game and love the look and sound and then some. But come on, the controls are tough to swallow, aren't they?

  • Hello_halo

    Ups. Doubbletouch.

  • MichaelB

    Ehh... fun for a few minutes, but gets old very fast.  It's missing the game balance of Pacman and lacking the depth of rogue.  So how is it a "magical child" again?  More like the "redheaded stepchild."

  • Matt tuck
Forget-Me-Not Reviewed by Blake Patterson on . Rating: 5