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iPad App Video Review: Requiem

by Andrew Koziara

Requiem is a first person running platformer brought to us by Tribase Studios. It combines great graphics and sound with an intriguing premise to create an experience unlike any other on the iPhone and iPad, though it has its share of flaws and questionable design decisions.

In the game, you play as a boy who has just gone to sleep and entered some kind of dream world. In it, a horrible demonic bull made of blood and fire seems to want you dead. You have to run away and escape the bull, jumping on the back of a Pegasus and flying to safety. Every level ends and starts the same way with the same cut-scenes. After flying away triumphantly, the Pegasus is scared just before returning you to your room and drops you back into the dream world so you can find it again, over and over.

As you can see, the game is a first person game with a focus on running and jumping, and is very reminiscent of games like Mirror's Edge on the PC and consoles (not the iPhone version). Unfortunately, the game is inherently flawed based on its genre. Platforming has never really felt right in a first person game, and this game is no exception. Simple jumps can be much more difficult than they should be. It doesn't help that your character controls more like a car than a person, in that you cannot strafe left and right, but have to perform odd three-point turn maneuvers instead.

In each level, you run from the bull. A meter in the top left indicates how close the bull is to you, as do the sound effects and screen effects. The bull will get louder as it gets closer and the screen will turn all bloody as if you were getting shot in Call of Duty.

As effective as this is, I feel it could have been done better. You never really feel like a giant demon bull is right at your heels as you run for your life. As you run, crouch, jump, and sprint through a level, you'll be tasked with collecting stars and Pegasus glyphs. These are often out of the way, and collecting them can lead to the bull catching up if you aren't careful. You can always use the sprint button for an extra boost, but be careful. Unless you completely deplete your sprint meter, it won't replenish itself at all, which can really mess you up.

This is a good game, but there are just tons of minor annoyances that really build up for me. The touch stick that you use to move doesn't actually move with your finger, for example, and is more like a button. It's really awkward that way. I feel that the levels could really have used checkpoints. Some levels have one difficult segment, often near the end, and to have to replay the easy part of the level over and over again is just tiring. Sometimes there will be a drop that you have to jump over, with no real indication that it is a deadly drop. The final level puts you in a race against the bull, having to reach the goal before the timer hits zero, but the game kept failing me with 16 seconds left on the clock, no matter how far along I was.

Despite all the annoyances and inherent flaws with the game, it's very well done. The concept is very cool, and the dream world is a lot of fun to run through. The levels look cooler and cooler as you move along, even if they do have the stereotypical random floating rocks everywhere. There is an advanced mode, which is the same 10 levels, only with a faster bull and more stars to collect. The Pegasus glyphs you collect allow you to play in tilt controlled bonus levels, in which you fly around collect extra stars and nothing else. I rather liked the ending of the game, despite being annoyed at the lack of any variation throughout the rest of the story. Game Center leaderboards and achievements are featured, as well as Facebook support. This is an iOS universal app, and it only costs two dollars. Despite frustrating me to no end, I'm going to recommend people pick this one up.

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