Lately we’ve been discussing the new Kickstarter iOS project Republique, and how its claims of starting the AAA party on iOS are overblown. High quality games already exist on iOS, and Republique would be a welcome addition, not a party starter. Well, add one more game to that party: Escape from Age of Monsters. This polished game has big talent behind it and excellent execution.
Jeff Matsuda, who produced “The Batman” cartoon (one of the many Batman-themed cartoon series, running from 2004-2008), was one of the major players behind the game, and the animation is consequently top-notch. The story of the game is that monsters have taken over, and Gizzard, a scrawny boy with red and blue power-gloves, has to escape with several orphans in tow.
You’re not rescuing them– they’re bait.
The escape mechanic is a simple one: Hit one side of the screen to destroy a blue obstacle, hit the other side to destroy a red one. It’s a sidescrolling platformer reminiscent of Canabalt, but with many more bells and whistles to keep you playing. Gizzard has to punch through walls and monsters alike to escape from each building, and on the way he can collect a variety of bonuses, power-ups, and gross monster parts. Timing the punches just right grants bonuses that lead to Turbo Mode, where everything becomes more epic, including the rocking music.
Collecting monster parts is often one of the requirements for getting a new item for Gizzard’s trophy room. Three objectives are required for each item, and these are the game’s achievements, ranging from maintaining a turbo mode streak to keeping at least one kid alive for a number of levels. These provide great variety and excellent replay value, which is vital for this genre.
That the game manages to be hilarious while featuring monsters eating children is a feat we very much enjoyed. The orphans that follow at your heels serve as your lives, because a failure to clear an obstacle ends up in one of them eaten by the chasing monsters, giving you the chance to get away, and sing Andrew Lloyd Webber while jumping between buildings. One rating of your performance early on is ‘Starting to suck less!’ and the items for your trophy room range from the ridiculous to the repulsive.
This is one of those games that we can point to when proving the existence of quality on the App Store (as if we need to anymore). We were hard pressed to find complaints with the game, and we were happy to see that there is also a rock-paper-scissors spin-off for those who didn’t get enough monsters. Few gamers will want to escape from this game.