ABOVE – Insanely Addictive Review

Imagine what your day would be like if you had to get to work using a series of floating platforms. This is what the protagonist of ABOVE has to deal with. We assume he is going to work, since he is carrying his briefcase and looks sharp sporting a tie. After playing ABOVE, you’ll appreciate taking the bus to work even more.

I can see my house from here!

ABOVE is a simple game. You control the timing of your character’s jumps and ascend the levels for as long as possible. After reaching a certain height, your character will not survive a fall and it’s game over. You’re then given a score, and challenged to beat it.

Timing is everything in ABOVE. The character will run at his own pace, so it’s up to you to tap and charge the jump meter to determine how high he will hop. While you’re scaling the heavens, you will come across some special platforms. Gold platforms will toss you higher, and gray ones will fall a few seconds after you land on them. Things get even more interesting when the platforms begin moving.

There are three levels to choose from: Metropolis (Easy), Tea Farm (Medium), and Outer Space (Hard). Once you’ve completed a run, you can upload your score to Facebook or Twitter.

ABOVE is a breath of fresh air in the “survival platformer” genre. The game is rendered in a slick anime style that puts to shame anything with “doodle” in the title. Just because this genre of game is simple doesn’t mean the graphics must reflect that.

Each level has gorgeous environments that make the game that much harder, because you want to stop and sight-see. The depth and scale is spot on as you climb higher into the sky, allowing you to see more landmarks. The are so many subtle visual details in ABOVE that really make the game a treat to play over and over.

Each level also includes catchy techno tracks that fit perfectly with each environment. The presentation is stunning and worthy of high praise.

I’m a rocket man.

Axolot, the creators of ABOVE, have even included a list of in-game achievements. After you’ve completed every achievement on the list, you can unlock a secret. You’ll have to hit the platforms to find out what it is– sorry, no spoilers here. As good as the game is, in the future we’d still like to see the addition of new characters, levels, and direct iPod music support.

ABOVE is an addictive game that will certainly make you say “Ok, one more time” before putting it down. We’re looking forward to future updates, and hopefully a higher-res iPad version as well.

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