Game

From the developer of Super Hexagon comes VVVVVV, another game that will make you shout in frustration!

You may have thought that Flappy Bird was difficult or completing level 125 on Candy Crush was the hardest thing you’ve ever played, but you’ll prove yourself instantly wrong if you play this game.

VVVVVV, by Terry Cavanagh, has jumped into the fray, stealing the crown from both of them with its pixel-perfect, precision platforming (or PPPP as we’d like to call it). Warning: this game may cause you to seriously consider throwing your iPhone at the wall when faced with another failure.

Each room has a funny name

Each room has a funny name

VVVVVVV started life on the PC back in 2010 and went on to win the “Most Fun and Compelling” game at IndieCade 2010. In the game, you take control of Captain Viridian, who, after a strange event, is stranded in an alternate dimension and separated from his crew. The first thing you’ll notice about VVVVVV is its retro-styled graphics, reminiscent of the Commodore 64. The environments feature mainly straight lines and Viridian is nothing more than a few pixels.

This room took us a while to pass through but we managed it!

This room took us a while to pass through but we managed it!

Unlike most platformers, you don’t actually tap the screen to jump but instead control gravity. By tapping on the right-side of the screen you flip the gravity and send Viridian hurtling towards the ceiling. Combine this with movement controlled by sliding on the left-hand side of the screen and you have a very fluid control system. Getting to grips with this system is half the challenge but the traditional onscreen controls are available if you prefer.

The main aim is to explore the alternate dimension by making your way through a series of interlocking rooms, eventually finding your crew members along the way. Each room though is usually a death trap waiting for you to make one simple slip up and cause you to return to the last checkpoint. Thankfully the checkpoints are littered in pretty much every room, so you’re never overly punished by having to trek too far.

 

The map should help you head in the right direction

The map should help you head in the right direction

VVVVVV also features an excellent soundtrack with pulsating beats, reminiscent of classic arcade games, driving you forward. There’s also well-written and genuinely funny dialog between the characters – though it’s the only time you’ll feel some light relief from the action.

Sometimes, it can feel like a room is impossible to complete, but given a bit of practice you’ll find a way through and the feeling of satisfaction when you do can’t be beat. Of course, another room full of spikes, floating baddies, and who knows what else awaits you on the next screen…

Better flip the gravity and head back up

Better flip the gravity and head back up

Price: $2.99/£1.99

Size: 59.5 MB

Version: 1.01

Platform: iOS Universal

Developer: Terry Cavanagh

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Review: VVVVVV
Only the feeling of frustration stops this from getting top marks but it’s right up there with the best iOS has to offer
For
  • A real hardcore challenge on iOS
  • Excellent graphics, music, and dialog
Against
  • It's hard
  • Like really, really hard
4.7Overall Score