The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Linn: Path of Orchards
We were excited for Linn: Path of Orchards ($2.99) when we posted its trailer earlier this month both because it was being published by Crescent Moon Games and we’re always interested in what they’re up to but also because its soothing aesthetic and rotating-platform gameplay looked really interesting. So it’s always nice when a game you’re anticipating meets your expectations, but it’s even better when that game exceeds those expectations, as Linn has for me since its release this week. This game is effing brilliant.
Each level in Linn is made up of platforms that all move in some fashion. It might be a single structure made from multiple platforms and the whole thing rotates around a central pivot point, or it could be multiple separate platforms that all move in their own way. Or a mixture of both. Bottom line: The ground beneath you is always moving and it’s up to you to jump and dash your way to an exit point without falling off the platforms and into the depths below. Controls use swipe gestures rather than virtual buttons. Your character Aban runs on her own, and you can swipe horizontally to change her direction at any time. Swipe upwards to jump, and again while in the air to double jump. You can also swipe horizontally in the air to do an air dash.
The main goal of the game is to make it to the exit, but there are additional goals as well. Each level has a certain number of glowing shards that, if you’re able to collect them all, will give you a medal. Then there’s an “Elder shard" that’s typically in a very out of the way position that’ll net you another medal if you are able to grab it. Finally, each level tracks how many moves you use to get to the exit and if you can complete a level with the par number of moves or better you’ll get a third medal. Occasionally the moves counter goal can be replaced with a different type of goal as well.
This might just sound like your typical 3-star system, but it definitely feels like more in Linn. Just completing a level can be an extreme challenge in itself, and then going back to collect the different shards or to complete it in with a certain number of moves really asks you to master the game’s mechanics. It also often requires you to use a completely new type of tactic from the one you used to complete the level in the first place. It really makes each level feel special and deep, despite the fact that you can complete many of them in a matter of moments. It gives Linn a puzzle game feel but in a platforming package, and it’s an absolute blast. Linn: Path of Orchards is three bucks with no IAP so if you enjoy platformers and want to experience a spin on the formula you should definitely check it out.