Twisted Fates is a strange little action title for the iPhone. It plays much like any other 2D platformer you’ve ever attempted, and it suffers from a number of deep-cutting flaws. Despite all that, the game just begs to be loved, and even though you probably won’t fall head over heels, you’ll be compelled to make friends.
Twisted Fates tells the story of three girls with water guns and big bazooms. While hanging out one day, the girls are suddenly teleported to a strange new world that’s suffering in the grip of a shadowy villain. The three girls are initially separated and must find their way back to one another. Once that’s done, they can do the “chosen one” thing and save the world.
But I’m outside your cone of vision!
The bulk of the action in Twisted Fates is platform-based, though there are some change-ups. One girl, MiSha, is deprived of her water gun when she first lands in her new surroundings, and must find her way out without tripping any traps or alerting any enemies. You are perfectly within your rights to groan, “Oh no, not a prolonged stealth sequence,” since nothing in the world kneecaps a fun action game like having to inch through shadows for prolonged periods of time.
But this is where Twisted Fates exercises its charm. The game is broken up into bite-sized levels, and each one ends before the task at hand gets too frustrating, stupid, or boring. Whether the level calls for stealth, running, jumping, or shooting, you’ll usually find it a mildly pleasant and non-offensive experience.
The tradeoff is that Twisted Fates won’t thrill the pants off you, either, unless you’re really into its busty anime-style leads. The game also carries some significant problems, like the inability to play with the iPhone held horizontally, which will murder your thumbs in time.
There’s no eye in team.
In fact, Twisted Fates lacks options of any kind, except for some OpenFeint capabilities. If you want to listen to your own albums while playing the game, forget about it. Though, to be completely fair, the game’s levels boast some very rich and compelling music. There is, however, a very noticeable lack of sound effects throughout the game, and no voice acting to speak of. That might not be so bad, given it’s hard to imagine the girls voicing much except squeals of “Ai! Nee-saaaan!”
Twisted Fates also has one major issue regarding its enemy battles: If you’re hit by a bad guy, there’s no recovery time. Your health can plummet from full to zero in the space of two seconds.
But with a game like Twisted Fates, you need to take the good with the bad. There’s better platforming fare in the iPhone, but something about the game’s combination of bright graphics, rich sound, and laid-back gameplay makes it seem worthwhile.