“Running Review” is a different take on writing a review. Rather than treat the process as a post-mortem done after finishing the game, this will be dynamic process. Each post will cater to different aspects of the game with the intention of giving you the truest reflection of what the play experience is really like. A detailed review and a score will follow after the game is done.
Developer: Phosphor Studios
One of the the biggest challenge in developing a serious mobile game is creating an effective control scheme. If you look at some of the more popular mobile games like Plants vs. Zombies, Cut The Rope and others, much of it is reaction based. It forces you to rely on tapping the screen or slashing at a certain time.
It’s rare that you actually control a character.
Horn is a beautiful looking game that relies on exploration and observation from a third person perspective. The problem with that open world environment is that it only highlights the control issues.
I’ve discussed the specifics of this in a previous post, but it really makes me wonder if an open world game like this one belongs on a mobile platform because of the limitations of of touch controls. The scheme that Phosphor Studios came up with is passable, but far from perfect. The touch movements were not precise enough, but this is coming from someone used to controlling my character using a dual stick controller.
Horn definitely reached his destination, but there were times that it really didn’t look pretty. Doing something as simple as standing on a specific area had me circling around it a couple of times just to get myself in position to move there.
The control issue won’t stop me from playing this game, but it is design issue that is unique to the platform and one developers will have to solve if the library of games in the appstore is going to extend beyond casual games.