Mobile gaming. I may not have much knowledge on it, but with my new phone, I now have the key to treasure called the play store.
Exactly where I spent my first hour, look for awesome games I could possibly enjoy on my device. One of them was this little fella called El.
There is no information about the story given, but you can interpret these mini stories that take place every two to three levels with sad tones. While there was no dialog, I had a wonderful hour immersed in this interpretive story-telling game. And yes, I did say an hour and at the end of that hour is JOHN CENA!!! Well not really, but it has a plot twist that just might surprise you.
Aside from the game being free, the art was what caught my eye as I scrolled through many other generic apps. The simple silhouette art style contrasts the deep and sad storyline, which I believe, made the emotions you feel from the various stories stronger, especially for the ending.
Filled with simple melodies from my favourite instrument, the piano, the soundtrack complements the game well similar to the art style and how it contrasts the story. You can hear a preview here: http://rippletunes.com/album/Takeshi-Yamagami/el-Original-Sound-Track/962239020/t0
Did I say I had a wonderful hour? Well it was not without what some might consider “flaws”. It has the simple mechanic of holding to move up and letting go to move down, but there a small amount of time before the game registers the action. This caused some of my “deaths” (the game doesn’t exactly portray it as death), but not to worry because you can simply watch a thirty second ad and you’ll respawn where you died. As a hardcore veteran gamer, I OBVIOUSLY did not use this “feature”.
They also added another mechanic in the game ,where you can swipe the screen to move forwards and backwards. This threw me off as I was used to Jetpack Joyride, where Barry would be positioned perfectly on the screen, so that you can see all the obstacles coming at you and that there was enough space behind Barry so that your thumb could never be on top of him. The level designers definitely had this mechanic in mind, as there were times I felt as if I couldn’t dodge a shark or I couldn’t reach those feathers, but it was because I was playing game as if the swipe interaction didn’t exist.
I was also confused during the first level because when I swiped the screen, it positioned me at the other end of the screen and I would be stuck over there, bumping into everything. What I didn’t realize was that you could swipe backwards as well, which could have been easily addressed in the tutorial.
Like I have said before when I critique something I go HAM. If you ever have a spare hour check this game out. While el may not be perfect, it definitely deserves some love. The story-telling is where the game shines. Accompanied with the beautiful, artistic sheen and moving piano pieces and you have yourself a good game.