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.
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