One Single Life Hands-On Preview

We just got word that the high-stakes platformer One Single Life is now live on the App Store, and that the developer has decided to release the game for free. That’s right, it doesn’t cost $0.99, as had originally been planned, so go ahead and download it here for free.

The developer also mentioned that they’re already working on a sequel called One Single Life: Tournament Edition. This sequel will “allow replayability without compromising the core theme of consequence and the notion that ‘a single life really does matter.’” It will also have leaderboards and achievements.

So if this single-life idea appeals to you, try out the original game for free.

One Single Life is a game that’s bound to stir up some heated discussion. In many ways, it’s similar to Canabalt. Your character runs forward automatically on the tops of buildings, and you tap the screen to jump. The difference is that you only get one life. Literally. When you die, you’re locked out of the game. And no, this isn’t an April Fools joke.

Unlike Canabalt, One Single Life is divided into levels. Each level contains two buildings, and you have to jump across the gap. If you succeed, you progress to the next level. As you reach higher levels, the game gets harder: Your character runs faster, and the gaps between the buildings grow. Each level, your reaction speed needs to be quicker, and your timing increasingly exact.

The game does a good job of building tension. Before each level, it displays what percentage of people fail to make the jump you’re about to attempt. Thankfully, you can practice the levels as many times as you want before you press the button to go at it for real. But if you fall during your official attempt, you’re done.

When we played, we got to level 10 before plummeting to our death. And sure enough, after that we were locked out. It’s a bold game design, that’s for sure.

One Single Life will already been submitted to Apple and will be released soon. The game will cost $0.99. What do you think? Does the experience sound like it’s worth a buck to you?