Saturday, April 9, 2016

IOS Review #116: Barrier X

Title: Barrier X
Developer: Noclip
Platforms: IOS Universal, Android
Price: Free
Hyper-fast, lightning-reflex arcade evasion are some of the most thrilling games you can find on mobile. The simple controls translate well to touch, and the seconds-long survival fits the platformer perfectly. The psychedelic rotation of Super Hexagon. The constantly-changing levels of Boson X. And now the insane screen-shaking speed of Barrier X.
An expanded version of an freeware 2014 title, Barrier X puts you in control of a vessel rocketing through an endless expanse at insane velocities, as white barriers appear with alarming speed. The ground beneath your craft turns orange as a visual warning of an upcoming barrier, giving you just enough of a warning to shift right or left and evade destruction by mere fractions of a second. It's breathless thrilling action, as barriers fly past, barely a blur as you rocket onward. Survive for 15 seconds, and your reward is to go faster, an increase in speed. 30 seconds, and you unlock a new level, while 60 seconds masters that level, a true test of reflexes and reaction.

That alone would make for an exciting arcade game, thanks to Barrier's slick polished design and wonderful sense of speed. But each of the game's seven level introduces something new. Blue blocking barriers that must be dodged in a specific direction. Green barriers that you need to pass through rather than avoid. A rival craft that you need to shoot down and avoid its fire. These elements make Barrier X's gameplay that much more interesting and intense and keeps what is essentially just moving left and right from feeling repetitive.
Barrier X is available to download for free, with a single in-app purchase to remove ads. You can find the game on the App Store and Android; a PC version is currently seeking votes on Steam Greenlight.