One of the App Store's true classics, Steph Thirion's multitouch masterpiece Eliss [$2.99], is getting a long-overdue reboot next week in the form of Eliss Infinity. The original Eliss launched in March of 2009 and was an elegant and challenging showpiece for the type of gaming that was only possible on a touchscreen. Gameplay involved combining like-colored discs (planets) by pinching and dragging them together, thus creating a larger version of the planet. You could also split a planet into two parts by spreading it with your fingers (reverse pinching?). All of this was in an effort to get the planets an appropriate size so they'd perfectly fit into black hole-like areas and thus be removed from the play field, until all planets were gone and it was on to the next level. We loved Eliss in our original review from way back when, and it was a stunning example of the mutitouch capabilities of the iPhone, and a hectic and challenging game in its own right.
However, Eliss has been virtually untouched by Thirion since then, and lacks any sort of modern features that have arrived over the past five years like Game Center, iPad support, 4-inch widescreen support, etc. So, five years later and Eliss Infinity looks to solve all of that. The game will consist of two different parts. The original Eliss levels will be included and have been renamed "Odyssey" so you'll be able to relive the glories and crushing defeats of the first game all over again but with a revamped look, a tutorial, early collision warnings and other tweaks. There will also be a new "Spacebox" mode, a sandbox for Eliss that will allow you to practice to your heart's content or just kick back and enjoy playing for the sake of playing without the pressures of the regular mode. Thirion says in a blog post about Infinity, "It’s the Eliss I wish I could have released on day one."
That all sounds great, but an even more interesting part of Eliss Infinity is the actual "Infinity" mode. This is basically what I've always longed for in Eliss. Infinity is an endless version of the game with high-score tracking and a new chaining mechanic. It's like an arcade version of Eliss, and like I said, it's the exact sort of thing I've always dreamt about. Thirion says of the new Infinity mode, "It’s a short burst, deep focus game, that ends fast and makes you go back for a higher score, until you master it and beyond. Think Tetris meets Super Hexagon meets … Eliss, in all its multi-touch intensity."
Beyond the revamped version of the original game and the new Infinity mode, Eliss Infinity will also include Universal iPad support and support for 4-inch widescreens. iPad support in particular should be extremely welcome for Eliss and its "finger Twister" gameplay, though the original played pretty darn well on the iPad even without proper support for the device. Steph Thirion says that there's even more surprises and new features to Eliss Infinity that he'll announce closer to launch, which is next week on February 6th at a price of $2.99. Oh, and if you're familiar with Thirion because you've been waiting for his star constellation creator Faraway which was announced way back at GDC in 2010, he'll be posting more about that title in the near future too.
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