Run for your life in rComplex

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by TRACY-MARK GORGAS / Special contributor to NWCN.com

KING5.com

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Updated Friday, May 18 at 3:47 PM

It's time to start running for your life; rComplex will not only have you running, but in style.  Slip on your cool shades and go!

Story

rComplex's story is simple and yet deep too.  You are dropped into a world that looks familiar to your character, but not immediately.  It's only after he has gathered memory cubes that things start to come back to him.  He will need to find these memories quickly though, certain death is chasing him and he is low on ammo.

Controls and Gameplay

rComplex is an "endless running" style game where your character is has to keep running to stay ahead of some deadly force, in this case a black tentacled thing.  Obstacles will appear in your way that you have to jump over or slide under.  You have your choice of controls to do this:  you can slide you finger up or down across the screen to make your character jump up or duck and slide or you can use an up and down button on the screen that you tap up for jump and down for slide.  The obstacles are color coded; green for jump over, dark blue for slide under.  Timing is everything here.  Miss-time a jump or slide and you will stumble allowing the tentacle mass to catch up.  If you avoid enough obstacles it will go into a "Zen" mode where your character runs faster, but if you trip over an obstacle he will go back to normal running.

Timing is where problems are.  I started with the buttons on screen, but I felt my timing was off because the buttons (and my hand) covered a part of the screen where the obstacles were coming on.  I switched to finger slide.  Now it seemed less like a timing issue and more like a touch recognition problem.  At times I would slide my finger across the screen and nothing would happen.  I switched back to the buttons and things worked better, but there were still touch recognition problems.

Jumping and sliding aren't the only controls you have weapons too.  You are armed with a shotgun (that has limited ammo) with a scythe on the end of it.  The scythe is a "last ditch" weapon if the tentacle mass catches you, you slice off the tentacle, but break off the scythe also.  You fire the shotgun by tapping the left side of the screen where the tentacle mass is.  After you fire, a message telling you how many rounds you have left scrolls across.  Occasionally there will be extra ammo and replacement scythes that you can pick up.

Here is where touch recognition problems pop back up.  When a memory cube appears a "tap here" message pops up.  Sometimes when you tap to get the cube the shotgun will fire also wasting precious ammo.

Graphics and Sound

rComplex's graphics are simple and yet very stylish.  The runner, tentacle mass, and some foreground objects are in a black silhouette.  The backgrounds are also silhouettes, but in shades of red and light blue.  A limited palette, but striking, that does help with spotting the obstacles.

The music for rComplex is a driving electronic style that conveys the sense of urgency very well.  I would love to have the soundtrack just by itself.  The voice actor also fits.  His voice sounds like someone who while good, may have something in his past that he needs to run from.

Overall

rComplex oozes cool.  From the stylistic graphics to the pulsing soundtrack it's all cool, but cool will not carry a game.  This is too bad because I really like the look and sound.  The touch recognition of the game seems to need some tweaking still.  It happens just often enough, in either control scheme, that it seems to not sense the input well.  Twitch gaming is all about the timing, but the controls need to be solid if things are going to hang on a split second decision.
 
To be fair it might not be the game, but the system it's running on.  I am playing it on a first generation iPad and the game didn't work at all until the game's 1.3 update.  On a newer, faster iOS device it could be a different story.  If there was a way to try before you buy I would say that this game would benefit from it.

rComplex has great style, great music, but controls are dodgy.  I give it a 3 out of 5.  I reserve the right to change that though.  The developer Interwave Studios has been very active in supporting it (even contacting me to help get my copy up and running).  So this is not a game that's been dumped on iTunes and forgotten.

rComplex is rated 9+ on iTunes for Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence and Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes.  It is available now on iTunes.
 
For more information see the rComplex web site.

 

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