I speak of Droidscape: Basilica from Kyttaro Tech Ltd, currently going for 69p (50% off) during launch week. But is it worth buying before they jack the price up?
Tearing down that odd description, Droidscape: Basilica is ultimately a puzzle game set across 60 levels and four worlds, with the gameplay split into two components.
Firstly, you have to draw an escape route for Bishop 7 the robot, taking into account things like coloured keys (red key for the red door and so on) and enemy robots.
The second Droidscape: Basilica phase plays out in real time, and you have a little slider to control Bish’ as he moves along the aforementioned route. Sliding to the right acts almost like play/fast-forward, while left is rewind (in case you need to back up). Regardless, enemy robots will go about their business as you attempt to make it to the exit.
Avoiding those robots – incidentally – is crucial, as colliding with them puts you back to the beginning.
The other thing to take into account is energy. Moving along the path you’ve set drains Bishop 7’s allowance, so it’s a good idea to keep it brief, and take advantage of the energy boosters dotted around.
Those are the Droidscape: Basilica basics, and you’re awarded a rating upon completion of each level for Length (i.e. the length of your route), Gems (which are scattered around the level) and Time.
Mixing things up a bit, Droidscape: Basilica gradually introduces other elements, such as robots that follow you (as opposed to following predetermined paths), hard-to-predict tanks, and switches.
And that’s Droidscape: Basilica in the shell of a nut. Getting back to the original question: is it worth buying?
Well, kinda, but bear in mind that it looks kinda crummy (almost like a bad Amiga game circa 1990), it’s a little buggy at points (I found myself getting stuck on scenery on occasion), and has a bizarre difficulty curve (one level might have you tearing your hair out, while the next is a breeze).
On the plus side, I did like the comic strip sections between worlds (thanks Hariton Bekiaris), and the Chris Christodoulou soundtrack gets a thumbs-up too.
Droidscape: Basilica also offers an interesting control system using the front camera (look left and right to control the slider), and while it’s not exactly practical in this context (an analogue stick would be ideal, actually), it’s nice to see developers thinking outside the box.
- 60 levels and more to come
- The comic strip sections
- Interesting “experimental” camera controls
- Looks a bit rubbish
- A little buggy
- Odd difficulty curve
Summary: As a futuristic puzzler type thing, Droidscape: Basilica won’t be the best game you’ll play all year, but there is something oddly fascinating about it. Worth checking out.
Developer: Kyttaro Tech Ltd
Price: currently 69p (50% off) @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.