Hamburgers, tennis balls, basketballs, a talking backpack, ceramic cats, exploding birthday cake, and that eternal question: is a hot dog still hot if it exists in ice-cold space?
It can only be Glorkian Warrior: Trials of Glork/Laser Panic/Xenoscream/Alien Dance Party/Battle Patio. “You know what this Battle Patio needs? Less battle, more patio.”
In case it wasn’t patently obvious from those opening paragraphs, Glorkian Warrior is decidedly quirky, perhaps one of the quirkiest things I’ve discovered to date on the App Store.
And I mean that in the best possible way, not like those quirky attention-seekers on reality TV who are, in actual fact, duller than ditchwater.
Glorkian Warrior’s art and story originated in the brain of James Kochalka, “First Cartoonist Laureate for the state of Vermont!” and a guy who – according to Frank Miller – does “stuff that shouldn't work but does.” Yeah, that sounds about right.
Essentially, Glorkian Warrior sees the eponymous hero fending off endless waves of incoming aliens (think Galaga) with the help of his trusty Super Backpack, which a) talks, and more importantly b) constantly shoots.
Our Glorkian Warrior is also tasked with collecting crackers, which appear when groups of invaders are dispatched (obviously), and ultimately contribute towards your lifetime score.
That score is vitally important in Glorkian Warrior, as it unlocks new gameplay elements including the Title Scrambler (see paragraph 2 above), the Cracker Magnet, different backgrounds and the Smartbomb.
Also keeping things interesting, the Glorkian Warrior frequently receives visits from sisters Chloe and Zoe, who set tasks such as walk from left to right 10 times, jump into an invader, and – in all seriousness – “stop being so hyper-stupid mega-boring.”
And that’s Glorkian Warrior in a nutshell, a game that’s notable for its humour, its cartoon-style presentation, and a soundtrack that occasionally sounds like something has gone very wrong. But nope, it’s supposed to sound that crazy.
The core gameplay mightn’t be the best thing ever (again, it’s Galaga), but the dressing keeps things feeling fresh for a good few hours.
Of course, I’m obliged to mention the negatives, too, and for me, I would’ve liked some sort of conclusion. Yes, Glorkian Warrior jokingly refers to the fact that – like many wave-based games – there’s no end (“I wish we could win,” muses the Super Backpack), but I felt a little short-changed when I put in an extra 60 minutes to unlock the “ultimate reward” only to discover that it’s… nothing. Unless I’m missing something.
But on the whole, Glorkian Warrior – to borrow a phrase from Frank Miller – “shouldn’t work but does.”
- The cartoon-style presentation
- The humour
- The soundtrack
- Ultimately inconclusive
- What is this “ultimate reward” you speak of?
- The core gameplay isn’t hugely innovative
Summary: I’m not sure what I was expecting from Glorkian Warrior, but it’s a game that’ll definitely stick in my mind for a long time. At its core, it’s really just Galaga, but all the little extras are endearing enough to keep things interesting for a few surreal hours.
Price: £1.99 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.