Sometimes a game comes along that feels so purely built for mobile, and its controls and mechanics come together so well on the touchscreen, I say that Apple should just pre-install it on every iPhone it sells. I very much feel that way about Madness/Endless from developer Anthony Romano aka PokeTheAnt, except… well maybe this one is a bit too gory and disturbing to be a default app on the iPhone. Apple would be getting quite a few angry calls about that I’d imagine. However, for those seeking out a truly well-designed action stealth game that somehow can be played entirely with one thumb, Madness/Endless is your ticket.
This game could kind of be described as a top-down dungeon crawler. You’ll move from room to room clearing each of enemies in order to open the way forward, occasionally collecting items, talking with NPCs, or fighting bosses along the way. Movement is what’s truly unique here. There’s a virtual joystick that lets you slowly crawl along the walls of the room, mostly as a way to set yourself up for the meat of the gameplay which is slingshotting yourself. You can do this by swiping in the direction you want to go, or by holding down on the screen to bring up an aiming arrow and then letting go to launch yourself in the direction of the arrow.
Both of these options are useful as sometimes you just want to bounce around quickly and precision isn’t important, but sometimes you want to absolutely line up where you need to go by using the aiming arrow. The real star of this show though is your ability to slingshot mid-slingshot. While you’re flying through the air just hold down on the screen again and time will slow down allowing you to re-aim and relaunch yourself in a different direction. By doing this you can pinball around a room and take out multiple enemies all in one go, making for these incredibly satisfying combos. Seriously, once you get a hang of things you’ll wish this was how movement was in every video game you played, it’s that fun.
There’s quite a bit more to Madness/Endless, like the interesting story, the freakish monsters, two different endings AND an unlockable endless mode. Oh, and I didn’t even touch on the stealth components yet. This is a pretty fast action type of game blended with a stealth game, and somehow it works! There’s probably too much stuff to get into right this moment, but all you really need to know is that if anything I’ve described sounds interesting to you, or you just dig the very grim and unsettling vibe of this game, I think you’ll more than get your handful of dollar’s worth out of Madness/Endless.