Some games take a really simple idea and just make it… work. Trace is one such game, essentially adopting one stupidly simple concept and nurturing it into one of the most charming games the App Store has to offer.
Trace is a remarkably straightforward platform game. All of the levels play out on one screen with a series of hazards to avoid, but the twist is that you draw - and, if necessary, erase - the platforms. Brilliant.
You create platforms with a simple swipe of the screen, and you can easily erase any misplaced lines by switching to your eraser. If you’ve ever used MS Paint – and who hasn’t? – you’ll instantly feel at home in Trace.
The game is hugely forgiving. If you get hit by a moving obstacle or fall to your death, you simply pop back to the starting point with all of your platforms still in place. But that’s not to say Trace isn’t challenging. The balance is just right, actually.
Trace features a generous 120 levels across six worlds. They are Paint, Water, Plant, Chalk, Flame and Space. Each world looks completely unique and has its own hazards which must be avoided, such as the huge thorns in Plant, or the giant sea turtles in Water.
Graphically, Trace is incredibly - and indeed intentionally - basic. Each of the levels looks as though it has been drawn with a simple paint program, but that’s part of the charm.
Taylor Calderone’s soundtrack fits the bill perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the ominous sounding tune for the levels in Flame world. Incidentally, you can buy the soundtrack through iTunes.
And, er, that’s about it. I wish there was more I could say to big up Trace, as it really is a joy to play, but the mechanics of the game are so simple that there’s not a great deal to yabber on about. I guess you’ll just have to check it out for yourself. Did I mention that it’s free?
- Looks great
- Sounds great
- 120 levels
- Uhm… kinda samey, I guess
Summary: Trace is one of the best games I’ve come across on the App Store, and it’s free. What more can I say?
Developer: Kevin Calderone
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 2.2.1 or later.
Price: free @ App Store