Are you a master of avoidance? If someone asks you to do some household chores, do you run and hide on the roof? While you’re up there, you can work on your avoidance skills even more by playing Tilt To Live, a game where you use the iPhone or iPod Touch’s tilt controls to keep an arrow-shaped cursor away from deadly red dots for as long as possible.
While a survival-type game without a shooting button may sound boring, the developers of Tilt to Live have stuffed it with humor and personality nearly to the point of bursting. From the second you turn it on, Tilt to Live lives to entertain with quirky loading screens, control menus, and online achievements.
You have pleased the Khan.
There’s only one stage in Tilt to Live, so every time you start the game, the experience will be pretty similar at first. Some jazzy music plays as the first few aggressive red dots appear. You must avoid them and make your way to nearby powerups, detonating bombs or activating homing missiles to do the killing for you. The best powerup is a laser shot that fires just a second after you run into it, killing all red dots directly in front of you.
Tilt to Live would fail if it weren’t for the tight tilt controls, and fortunately even aiming your giant death laser with precision is a cinch. We did run into a few control snafus when holding the device upside down (sleepy mode) or at a custom angle that was also facing downward. Otherwise, the regular top-down views of the action worked perfectly, letting us guide our arrow through swarms of red dots with ease.
Extremely funny achievements for killing certain numbers of enemies, and new weapons that are very challenging to unlock are the two biggest reasons to keep playing Tilt to Live in the long term. Also, the further you get, the more bizarre the behavior of the red dots becomes. At one point, they’ll turn into a Pong ball and paddles, or they’ll form tight rows and sweep across the screen in lockstep.
This game does have room for improvement. A few extra levels with different dot behaviors would be a natural fit for free or paid expansions, and we wish there was a way to skip straight to the action when you first start instead of waiting for it to ramp up each time. Otherwise, this is a completely charming non-shooter that delivers a lot of challenge for experienced and highly-coordinated gamers. Don’t avoid it– seek it out on the App Store.