What sorcery is this???

It's sorcery...or witchcraft...one of the two! :-0

inside

Even though I understand the technical capabilities of the smartphones we currently have today can run some pretty intensive games...I still find myself utterly blown away that THESE games are now playable in the palm of your hand on the same device you use to order pizza and take pictures of cats with!

Left to right: Life is Strange, Inside and FEZ

FEZ
I'm aware that FEZ has been handheld on the PlayStation VITA but I am just overjoyed that this game has now landed onto smartphones, with the potential of more people getting lost with Gomez in this glorious perspective-changing world. I played FEZ on both VITA and PS4 using the cross-save feature and I can honestly say that I found playing it more enjoyable when it felt like I was holding the world in my hands. I would be interested to see if the touch controls work well with the game, sometimes I feel platforming games can lack that physical feedback and tactile response of pressing a button when played using a touch screen. I'm imagining that swiping the screen rotates the world perspective which I think would make you feel like you are holding and peering into this world in your hands and your smartphone screen is your window to the adventure.

INSIDE
When I first played Inside, I was immediately sucked into it's dark and atmospheric world. It starts in a similar way to Playdeads Limbo whereby you take control of the character with no set up, pre-cinematic or indication of who you are, why you are there, where you are, and only through clever lighting and level design are you given this subtle nudge that you know you should always (most of the time) be heading towards the right-hand side of the screen. This is the case for both Inside and Limbo. For me, the pull of the game is absolutely all about finding answers to the questions and the clever ways in which Playdead are telling a story through the atmosphere, the location and everything going on in the background. I think Inside achieves a greater sense of world building because of the depth you are allowed to pear into the background with. During the opening sections, you see vans and searchlights seemingly in the background to help tell the story that you are being looked for...only, the background storytelling can also start running toward you and after you in the foreground! If that doesn't solidify some sort of narrative for you or at least what you need to be doing in the game then I don't know what will. Really, great and simple game design, perfectly executed to make your heart race. 

All that being said, and truly being in awe that this game has landed on iOS I do have one reservation (just a little one) with how the experience will translate to mobile. My concern is for people who might try to play the game on their phone without using headphones, so much of the storytelling and atmosphere is portrayed through the use of sound in the game. I know that someone playing on their home console could choose to play the game on mute and that this is a decision for the player to make, but I do hope this game reminds you that it is best experienced with headphones on.

 

LIFE IS STRANGE
I'm ashamed to say that I have actually only gotten round to playing the first episode of Life is Strange, of which there are five episodes in total. Out of these games that have recently made their way onto iOS, I think this is the one I am most excited about and that I will probably dive back into and play the rest of on my phone with. The main reason that I haven't finished all it has to offer, but also I think it will be a really good game to play on a device that relies on touch input. I'm not being asked to perform jumping puzzles or neither do I need a degree of accuracy with regards to the gameplay or positioning of the character. The game is asking me to make choices, follow the story and let it play out how I would like it to. I think this kind of game much like the Telltale series of games really flourishes on smart devices. I'm looking forward to diving into the game again knowing I can dip in and out when I want to, getting involved and furthering the story. I've got a couple of train journeys coming up actually.