Wide Sky is currently the App Store’s (Free) App of the Week, and having never actually heard of Marcus Eckert’s creation, I figured I’d dive in and take a look. Why the hell not?
It’s a bizarre old game, almost more so an experiment in physics, animation, UI and code, adopting a form of Meek – an engine created by Eckert. But is it any good?
The answer to that question is: I think so; I think I like Wide Sky. At times I found myself enthusiastically nodding: ‘Yeah, this is really good.’ Though sometimes I wondered: ‘Is it any good? Hmm.’
For its protagonist, Wide Sky adopts a spinning hedgehog (stop me if you’ve heard that one before), and the action is all based around ropes. Oh, those ropes.
Essentially, in each Wide Sky outing, you’re tasked with swinging between clouds in order to catch orbs – seven in all. Upon catching said orbs, they fracture into little collectable pieces. And, uhm, that’s about the size of it.
Wide Sky mixes it up (slightly) with its array of ropes. Each rope comes with a set of associated challenges (don’t hit the ground, launch straight into an orb without using any ropes, collect 40 stars…), and completing the challenges unlocks the next rope.
In addition, challenges completed, you can tinker with the game and alter the flexibility and length of the rope.
Oh, and I almost forgot the special powers; each rope comes with its own set-up, with powers including a speed boost, and little whirlwind thingy that stops you hitting the ground.
As for Wide Sky’s physics, they’re pretty sound, and while it takes a while to get used to the mechanics (pretty hard to articulate here without going into oodles of detail), it feels nice once you get the hang of it and build up some momentum.
The design, when it comes to Wide Sky’s menus and that, is quite strange. It kinda veers between super-slick and wildly unintuitive, though – like the physics – it’s worth getting used to.
And that’s Wide Sky. Like I say, it’s free at the moment (usually 69p), so absolutely worth checking out. Don’t expect to be blown away, but there’s something oddly interesting about the game.
- The physics (once you get used to them)
- The UI/design (once you get used to it)
- The little tune
- Quite tough to get the hang of
- The menus are initially quite confusing
- All you’re really doing is collecting seven orbs repeatedly
Summary: Wide Sky for iOS is less game, more experiment in design. It’s interesting, for sure, but feels almost like a tech demo at times than a fully-fledged game.
Developer: Marcus Eckert
Price: free (usually 69p) @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.