Cheap Shot: Diorama

Hey, want to give yourself an instant migraine? Try Diorama on for size. It only costs you 99 cents… plus the price of a postage stamp, if you want to augment the headache by sending away for a free pair of 3D glasses!

Playing in 3D won’t help you.

Diorama is a beautiful, technically accomplished little ball-rolling game that is sure to piss off even the most masochistic players.

The nine levels–tiny, intricately constructed boxes you peer into from the top–are absurdly difficult. The pain starts on the very first stage, which will probably stop 99% of downloaders cold.

Coaxing the ball up an inclined ramp with Diorama’s unadjustable tilt controls took dozens of tries, spiking our blood pressure into the stratosphere.

Sometimes, developers give their vision free reign, building what they see in their heads without checking to see if anyone else actually thinks it’s fun.

That seems to be what’s happened with Diorama. The concept is very cool, the graphics are great, and the game is terrible. But hey, two out of three ain’t bad!

Editor’s Note: Cheap Shot is a new review feature where we pick a game that costs $.99 or $1.99 and give it the quick review treatment. While you won’t find a 1-4 score or our usual pros and cons, you will get a direct assessment of the game based on a one-hour playthrough. You’ll still find our full-length, regular reviews for other games.

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