Thursday, October 3, 2013

IOS Spotlight #11: Incoboto

Title: Incoboto
Developer: Fluttermind
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: $1.99 (iPhone), $3.99 (iPad)
Puzzle platformers are not uncommon on IOS, so it takes something more, something unique for a game to stand out among its brethren and the daily flood of new games in general. Incoboto does just that, with its atmospheric art style, an enigmatic narrative that's equal parts bleak and witty, challenging puzzles, and smooth touch controls.
The suns have gone dark. Life has vanished, leaving nothing but The Corporation's many weird and mysterious machines across the galaxy. Yet Inco and the last sun Helios endure and embark on a journey across the galaxy to rekindle the suns and restore what was lost. The narrative is discovered through logs and signs dotting each planet, and what is incredible is how these logs can imply an entire story in only a few words. The Corporation signs add to the story as well, delivering cautionary warnings and corporate memos with dry witty GlaDOS-style humor (i.e."If you can complain, you can breathe. If you can breathe, you can't complain."). I'd recommend Incoboto for the story and atmosphere alone, but the gameplay is just as polished and engaging.
At its core, Incoboto is an Metroidvania-esque game with a dash of Super Mario Galaxy. Each system you travel to composes of a several planets, each with their own gravitational field. You find new equipment as you progress through the story, from the abilities to locate invisible objects and focus Helios' light to a grapple hook and jetpack. You may encounter out-of-reach areas only to return later with the means to access them. But Incoboto isn't about combat; the focus is on puzzles. Many times you'll encounter a new machine and through testing and discovery, you'll learn its function and how it interacts with other machines. From gravity beams to force fields to teleporters and more, the puzzles grow more complex and challenging and each offers those satisfying "aha" moments that only the best puzzles can.
I can't recommend Incoboto enough. It's not the longest game, but this is a case of (fantastic) quality over quantity. You can purchase Incobot for $3.99 on iPad or get the $1.99 Mini version for iPhone.

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