Challenging games withstand the test of time, as challenge never goes out of style. VVVVVV is an action platformer that launched back in 2010, and comes from the maker of Super Hexagon. Here in 2014, VVVVVV has come to iOS with the same set-up, but with a touch friendly control scheme that works extremely well. You simply slide your finger on the left side of the screen to move, and tap on the right side to switch gravity. You need to continually flip gravity to traverse through difficult levels that are all combined together for one lengthy adventure.
The game is set in space when a multi-dimensional disturbance causes the crew to be scattered about the universe, and it’s up to the captain to rescue them. There isn’t a direct linear path, and instead you simply start exploring room by room to find new teleporters, and regions. The rooms include spikes, moving platforms, and bouncing obstacles, and it all comes down to flipping gravity at the right time to make it through surprisingly ornate challenges. The game has a basic art design, but don’t let that fool you, as it’s simply masking tons of difficulty that will test your platforming skill. Even though the game is hard, it’s never overly frustrating, and it’s a manageable challenge that is conducted at high speeds.
Each region in the game has a unique challenge whether it’s a tower to climb above the rising screen, a bouncy area where gravity is flipped with trampolines at the top & bottom, or a region that requires leading a companion. Even though the game can be difficult at times, it’s set-up with timely checkpoints, and instant restarting so you can rapidly go into a section that you keep dying on. The subtle story, changing regions, and overarching goal of specific crew members to rescue keeps you coming back to the challenge since you never know what to expect, other than you will die numerous times attempting the new platforming tests. One of the best parts of VVVVVV is that is focuses on the core platforming gameplay above all else, and while it might not be beautiful visually, the level design is beautifully constructed. The gravity component keeps things fresh, so that you have to think a little too while using some quick reflexes.
VVVVVV ($2.99, Universal) is a great addition to the App Store that is a must have addition to your app collection if you’re even remotely interested in platformers, or challenge.