The Incident Review

Imagine waking up, putting on your best shirt and tie, and going outside to hail a cab. You get your cab, all right– from above. That incident uncorks the heavens, and next thing you know, a hail of patchwork trash comes down from above. How do you react? Do you burrow into the lowest tunnel available and tremble? Or do you roll up your sleeves and start climbing a trash tower with the intent to reach out and punch the face of God?

In The Incident by Big Bucket Software, you are forced to man up and scale Mount Trash. You’ll be happy you chose to brave The Incident’s odd rainshower, since it’s a terrifically fun vertical scroller in the spirit of Doodle Jump, and it boasts appealing retro graphics. The Incident only knows one song, though, and is best experienced in short bursts.

King of the Heap.

The gameplay, while monotonous, makes diving into The Incident a snap. You make the main character– We call him “Fred” because he looks like Fred Flintstone after a go at Atkins– dart left and right by tilting the iPhone (the sensitivity is adjustable). He jumps when you tap the screen.

A white light flashes from above to warn you where the next piece of trash is going to fall, and the object is to avoid conking Fred on the noggin while you assemble a trash tower that will let you pierce the heavens. Fred wields some measure of incredible strength, as he can push trash around to make piles and burrow out of trouble whenever necessary.

What makes Fred’s climb especially interesting is the nature of the trash that falls from above. There’s some seriously weird stuff that comes down, including arcade cabinets, electric guitars, grand pianos, shadowy caged creatures, Easter Island heads, street signs, Greek columns, icicles, and so on. You’ll be mesmerized the first time you play. Of course, that might be part of The Incident’s plan: It’s easy to get so distracted by the nature of the storm itself that you forget to watch out. Next thing you know, you’re done in by Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Three hits means a life lost.

We’re seeing double! Four Freds!

Luckily, the first level of The Incident takes care of you by slowly easing you into the game. Stuff falls relatively slowly, health powerups are plentiful, and so are bonus coins (get ten for a 1UP). Checkpoints are close together, so if– sorry, when– you die, you won’t be pushed too far back.

Once Fred hits the mountains, though, the gloves are off. Stuff falls faster and more frequently. Health powerups become more scarce, and cursed balloons drift up from above. This might be a shocker, but cursed balloons take away health if you pop them. The gameplay only gets more frantic from there.

After about 10 to 20 intense minutes with The Incident, the appeal starts to wear a bit and you’ll likely turn it off. The good news is that the game feels pretty fresh when you return, so you’ll have scaled Jacob’s ladder of crud before very long. The Incident is fun, it’s quick, and even though you’ll move on from it sooner than later, your memories will be fond and warm.

With any luck, Big Bucket will include an update for online leaderboards. We want the world to know that we endured death by Maneki Neko at 6 meters.

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