And so to the App Store’s Aerox (not available on Google Play, I’m afraid), a game currently riding high in Top Free Games (“FREE for a limited time only!”), and with pretty decent user reviews.
Is Aerox another App Store gem, or was it a waste of freakin’ time? Answer: the first one. Well, mostly.
Aerox takes its cue from the likes of Marble Madness and Super Monkey Ball. Essentially you’re using your iDevice’s accelerometer to tilt a ball around series of courses.
There are 30 courses in total in Aerox, featuring components such as pipes, rails, ramps, jump pads and blocks, and for the most part, the levels are really well put together, with cheeky puzzles here and there.
My main gripe is with the controls. Little things bothered me in Aerox, like the inability to move the camera while stationary.
The most infuriating element in Aerox, however, is when it comes to moving boxes around. Some pieces have little green arrows on them and eagerly move around invisible axes. Perfect.
But, for some reason, other boxes move around with frustratingly accurate physics. That might sound like a strange complaint, but trying to manoeuvre a box up a ramp, for example, is nothing less than a nightmare; it’ll constantly slip to the side if you don’t hit it dead on, which is no mean feat with accelerometer controls.
It’s also quite hard to gauge how fast you’re going. Oftentimes I felt like I was going full pelt (with my iPhone titled firmly away from me), but came up short when it came to a jump or whatever.
And why, Aerox, is there no option to retry a level on completion? Part of the draw is attempting to beat your high score and move up the world rankings, so I don’t always want to move on to the next level.
Incidentally, looking at the Game Center Aerox leaderboards, it’s amusing to watch the drop-off in players as the levels go on. A whopping 2.8 million times have been logged on Level 1, but only 250,000 people have made it as far as Level 25.
And that’s Aerox. I realise I’ve been largely negative in this review, but it's a mostly great game – just a little rough around the edges. Roll on Aerox 2 (pun intended).
- It’s free (for now)
- 30 levels
- Solid level design
- Occasionally frustrating tilt controls
- Those bloomin’ boxes
- Let me retry
Summary: Aerox invites you to guide a ball through 30 well-designed courses, and for the most part it’s pretty great.
Developer: Synoptical Studios
Price: free @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.