Developer: Lonely Vertex
Size: 261 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
At the outset you’ll find yourself controlling a sine wave as it undulates its way through an asteroid field. Rather than tapping to adjust your orientation, you must drag left and right to modulate your frequency, expanding and contracting your flight path like a concertina in a bid to find clear space.
The danger, when the difficulty ramps up (which it will pretty quickly), is in looking too far ahead. You can become so fixated on avoiding catastrophe to the far right of the screen that you miss the effect your efforts have closer to home.
This gives Sine a unique feel. It’s as much a case of shape selection as it is your typical reactions test.
As you progress through the game’s four level packs, you’ll be introduced to new elements like moving geometry and energy barriers that temporarily change the shape of your wave – and thus the rhythm of play.
Getting safely to the level exit is only one of three tasks to fulfill – albeit the single essential one. You can also choose to collect several orbs dotted throughout the level, which will invariably put your wave on a collision course with a giant rock or geometric shape.
The most tricky optional mission, however, is the Speedster award. Getting to the level exit in the limited time allotted is an extremely tricky task, and it’s one you may well choose to come back to at a later point once you’re better at the game. Thankfully, you can unlock new level sets without acing every preceding task.
Sine’s presentation is extremely tidy and effective. Its simple graphics, limited but bold palette, and crisp UI combine effectively with a pounding synth soundtrack to inject a dose of retro futurism into the mix.
While it’s extremely simple to pick up and play, Sine’s uniquely challenging gameplay mechanic might just rule it out for those after a way to casually waste a few minutes. It requires that your eyes be in two places at once, and demands a level of concentration and persistence that’s uncommon among autorunners. But for those up for a challenge, it could be a new obsession.