Free Android game of the month - Reviewing Ignatius
Do you like movies? Are you mesmerized by the strange worlds, epic stories, captivating pictures and the human feelings that they can portray? Have you ever thought how cool it would be to be actually inside the world of a movie? There is one little guy who thought the same and his story didn't become too wonderful, as he got stuck in that world. But now, you can help him escape. Ignatius is a new addition to the Google Play store: it's a free game where you can get really close to the movies. Read our review to learn all the details:
Lights, camera, action!
After using an Android smartphone for a while, we all got curious about the possibilities it offers beyond its default applications. Naturally, one of our interests were games: fortunately the Google Play Store is growing very fast and there are more and more quality games appearing in the offer. Still, it has been a long time since we had the chance to play with a really good platformer (a game which involves guiding your character to jump between suspended platforms, over obstacles, or both to advance the game) on our favourite Android smartphone or tablet. Now, Ignatius comes very close to being something like that.
It has been added quite recently to the Play Store, so we're talking about a very new game, that - hopefully - still has a long life ahead of it. But hey, we're already getting used to showing you some really new and cool stuff in our gaming reviews. :)
We're talking about a platformer game that has all the usual and classic elements specific t o a game of this genre. It is of the 2D side-scrolling type, which means that you get to control your main character (Ignatius in this case) that can run, jump, pick up and put down stuff and activate special objects.
When talking about classic platformer elements, we really have a lot of them: besides gaps in the level, where you can fall down, there are moving steps, high platforms, collapsing bridges and timed jumps too.
As in the case of most platformers, the controls are quite simple: you can move Ignatius left or right by swiping, or by tapping on virtual left and right keys on the left side of the screen. Jumping, dropping from ledges and activating stuff is always done via the three virtual keys on the right.
The goal of each level is quite simple: you need to collect three film rolls that you can use to activate a portal, which takes you to the next level. There are some exceptions too, as some levels end by Ignatius falling to a seemingly bottomless pit, and a couple of times you just need to walk out from the current level.
Of course your journey won't be as simple as a walk in the park, there are many things that try to hinder your cause: the levels have obstacles like lava pits and bottomless gaps that can kill you easily, and there are also various kinds of strange creatures that hurt you if you touch them. Always keep an eye on your health bar, as you can't survive many hits. There are some health potions scattered around the levels, but you won't find many of these.
Another important game mechanic is the saving engine: there is no autosave feature in Ignatius , so remember to save often , even at the start of every level, otherwise you will have to do long parts of the game twice.
A whole new world
The thing that sets Ignatius apart from other platformer titles is the atmosphere. The graphics are made up of beautiful, hand-drawn, black and white backgrounds and cute characters, and the scenes are made even better by an occasional use of color (like in Sin City) and super lighting effects and shadows.
The visual experience is accompanied by a soothing and somewhat creepy musical track that, no matter how silent it is, completes the specific atmosphere of the game.
As for the story, you are Ignatius, a youngster who is quite bored with his life as an accountant, and one day, while going home from work, sees that a cinema is in town. He is intrigued and invited by the cinema's owner, Vigo, to take a closer look at the machines. This is where he gets warped into the movie world, from which he tries to escape.
The story starts out really well and, during the game, you can collect pages from a memoir book that details the story of Vigo and what he has to do with Ignatius. All this is accompanied by many great easter eggs, which are in fact references to legendary movies and actors.
Unfortunately, no matter how nice the story's beginning is, and no matter how interesting the addition of Vigo's storyline might seem, the endgame is very cliche and haphazard - it seems like the writer didn't have enough time to properly finish the storyline and make Vigo's part more than an easily guessable subplot.
Two other negative aspects of Ignatius are the controls and the text. As for the first, the swipe controls seemed too slow to react, which can be fatal in the case of a platformer game, while the arrow controls are way too small and hard to hit. This increases the otherwise not too high difficulty, with unnecessary frustration.
As for the text, we need to say that it has a lot of spelling and grammatical errors which really bring down immersion and the overall gameplay experience. Guys, I'm sure you could have found someone to check this, there are more people out there like our own Marte Brengle !
Ignatius is a platformer game that you can really call a hidden gem. It's a title made by a small indie developer team from Poland: Sons of welder. This team is run by two brothers and they did a much better job than many large gaming studios. Besides being a good platformer game, Ignatius also has a really strong addition: its atmosphere, which is something hard to nail. But they've nailed it!
Of course, the game has its flaws, like the lack of an autosave feature and some spelling mistakes, but our biggest problem is its length: we would have loved to play it for hours and hours, and we would have wanted even more puzzles. Unfortunately the game is in its early stages and more content most probably will be developed in the future.
Anyway, we really hope that Paweł & Przemek, the two developers, won't abandon their main project and keep adding quality content to the game, which is obviously made with love. So, go on and play it with love!