When touchscreen gaming was in its infancy, the controls were generally a real pain in the bum, whether platforming, or puzzling, or shooting in first person.
As developers get used to the platform, we’re happily playing games like Thomas Was Alone and GTA San Andreas on ye olde touchscreen, with gripes mostly being filed under ‘Minor’. But wait! Here comes 1Path to remind us just how irksome tilt-to-control games - in particular - are.
To be fair to 1Path, I’m struggling to think of a standout game that exclusively adopted tilt controls, so the odds were immediately stacked against it. Y’know, unless 1Path was going to revolutionise tilt-based gaming. Which, er, it doesn’t.
Anyway! Let’s start at the beginning. What is 1Path? It’s a 100-level puzzle game that tasks you with guiding a little ball around using tilt c… ah, I said that already.
Generally the aim is to hit a number of points on the fixed, single-screen playing area in a particular order, with missions pertaining to time and occasionally collectible “energies” – little coloured balls, essentially.
To be perfectly honest, even accomplishing those seemingly simple tasks is more challenging than it sounds thanks to the tilt controls. But the fun doesn’t end there. No sir.
As you progress through the levels, you’ll meet increasingly brutal obstacles, including fog, lasers, bombs, moving lasers and – you guessed it – moving bombs.
There are a handful of power-ups including the shield, the magnet and the clock, but they really don’t help much – particularly in the later levels.
And that’s 1Path in a nutshell. I’m perfectly aware that I’ve been almost entirely negative so far, but it’s not all bad.
The level designs, for one, are absolutely spot on. There’s a surprising amount of variety in what – on the face of it – is a relatively simple formula, and I really enjoyed the levels where the action appears to scroll (I think technically the objects are moving into the screen, but it feels like the ball is travelling – if that makes sense).
It’s just a shame that navigating 1Path’s levels is so infuriating. Even the option to calibrate (“Select position! Top-down // Regular // Custom”) can’t negate the fact that repeatedly making tiny, stealthy movements is so much harder than it ought to be (fug you, Level 41), and it’s nigh on impossible to find that sweet spot where you don’t move at all.
There are other issues, too, including the repeated requests to rate 1Path, and a horrific sound effect for flashing lasers that initially had me convinced something had gone terribly wrong. But nope, it’s supposed to sound like that. Wow.
Android users can play 1Path for free (it has an average 4/5 rating, incidentally), but for iOS peeps, I’d be reluctant to shell out that £1.49.
- Brilliant level design
- The scrolling levels
- It’s free on Google Play
- The tilt controls
- No, I don’t want to rate it
- Level 41
Summary: 1Path is an interesting puzzle game with seriously impressive level design, but be prepared to smash your touchscreen device as the tilt controls repeatedly slap you in the face.
iOS compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Android requirements: 2.3.3 and up