I’ve heard feminists complain (yes, complain; shock horror!) that there aren’t enough female protagonists in video games, though a boob-rocking friend points out that men are – as determined by Father Nature himself – physically stronger; there’s no misogynist conspiracy, merely a natural order to things.
With Epic Eric, 232 Studios looks to appease the bra burners with the option to play as a femme bot, Epic Erica, a lady who’s every bit as capable as her penis-based counterpart.
Epic Eric(a) is a decidedly old school mobile game, with the emphasis squarely on physics (remember the physics craze? Thanks, Angry Birds), and while maybe not entirely original, it does make you wonder: ‘Why did no one come up with this before?’
In each of Epic Eric’s 45 levels (set across three unique worlds), you’re tasked with – simply – getting from A to B and collecting one to three stars in the process, a proven formula that works very well here.
Momentum is the name of the game. See, you move around by swinging between a series of cogs, and if you hit the ground, it’s Game Over. Simple.
Some cogs constantly spin round in anti-clockwise fashion, inviting you to jump off at any point, while others swing back and forth like a traditional, uhm, swing. You’ll also find little arrows that launch Eric - or Erica - into the air (the harder you hit them, the higher you jump), while moving platforms complicate things further.
And that’s Epic Eric in a nutshell. Brace for incoming pros and cons – mostly the former.
For starters, 232 Studios nails the difficulty thing perfectly. Epic Eric is challenging, but never unfairly so. Indeed, I encountered the old ah-so-that’s-how-you-do-it satisfaction on several occasions; great level design.
While quite basic aesthetically, Epic Eric also manages to look quite stylish. It’s nice and bright, and the three worlds are significantly different.
The pace is great, too. The action doesn’t stop if – or when – you hit the ground; the game simply plonks you back at the beginning and invites you to start over.
And then there’s the fun element, that mysterious je ne sais quoi that’s curiously absent from some games that are – on the face of it – technically “good”. No such worries here. Never did I think, ‘Here we go again’ at the beginning of a level. In fact, I found myself going back and getting all 45 * 3 = 135 stars.
On the poop side, Epic Eric is relatively short (though we’re promised more levels soon – for free), and there’s arguably not a whole lot going on beyond the cogs and the swinging and whatnot.
But hey, judging Epic Eric purely on my level of enjoyment, it’s an unreserved thumbs-up from me.
- Difficulty: spot on
- Easy on the eye
- Cool wee concept
- Quite short
- Quite basic
- Why isn’t Epic Erica in the kitchen? (JOKE)
Summary: Epic Eric is a great little physics-based puzzler that’s somehow hugely endearing. Swing from cog to cog and collect stars; it’s way more fun than the description perhaps suggests, and one we'll definitely remember when it comes to penning The Best Mobile Games of 2014.
Developer: 232 Studios
Price: 69p @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.