Well, it’s finally happened, after all of the browser/app based games I’ve been promoting on this blog I finally get around to promoting some console nuggets to share with the gaming universe and today I’m extremely excited to be bringing you:
Have you ever wondered what it might be like if the movie E.T. if it was rated R instead of rated G? – Well, that’s kind of what you’re getting in Warp by Trapdoor Inc. The synopsis is pretty much exactly the same, but with fun little gameplay quirks. You play as Zero – a cuddly little alien test subject that a group of scientists found in some random crater. They take you back to their labs and remove your power core – and thus, it’s a game of stealth, evasion, and puzzle-solving to escape the compound and remove all evidence of Zero’s existence from the poor scientists hard drives.
Sound fun yet? – oh, well what if I told you this game was rated M for Mature and that one of the core mechanics was that you use a “FRAG” warping ability to possess soldiers and scientists and EXPLODE THEM?! – Sound interested yet? Now, certainly, this game is not for everyone. There’s curse words a-flying and pretty comical blood splatter physics that occur after every possession, but the game is fun if you can take the funny and comical with the darker, more adult content.
Now let’s move on to the meat of most of my posts – the accessibility.
I have to admit when I first attempted to grab the controller and look at Warp. I was skeptical, because most [ if not all ] console games require two hands to play. This game was no different, but it did have a small amount of button inputs which makes for easier controlling. Most moments are spent navigating and teleporting through rooms and hallways, and evading guards, laser turrets, and scientists – but the story has some fantastic comedy and depth to the very simplistic story. The ‘warp‘ ability only requires the touch of the X button and most actions are prompted on the screen, so it makes the gameplay easier for you to recognize when to press which input.
A little yellow dot signifies the distance that Zero can ‘warp’ to from one sequence to the next, and it’s not a huge distance, so you’ll have to plan your move accordingly. There is a way to format the view of your screen to a specific tones – so that colors can be more vibrant, softer, etc. – so depending on your preference that will help visibility.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any subtitle suggestions in the options menu [ but perhaps that’s because I played the demo ] but not having subtitles, or any sort of follow along text support really cuts down the playability for deaf gamers enjoyment. You can still enjoy the game certainly, but it makes the game more difficult if you can’t hear guards in hallways, hear laser paths, etc. So what next?
- Simple control scheme makes for easier play
- Visual change options makes for easier vision for vision impaired
- Deep and comical storyline makes for fun and exciting new game
- Puzzles are complex and deep enough to keep simple mechanics challenging
- Challenge maps to hone skills
- Checkpoints are frequent and rewarding
- Zero subtitles or deaf impaired assistance
- Dual handed controls [ though one-handed may be attempted. ]
- Precision required on some puzzles due to fast paced warping.
- Small print via most on-screen text makes for difficult instruction reading.
The point is – Warp is a great game. It’s fun and comical, although morbidly toned. There’s something infectious about that little cute alien Zero that just makes you want to squeeze him. Though watching as he bursts all cuddly from some scientists chest prompted me to suddenly think about what Alien would have been like if it had been made as a Disney movie.
The puzzles are challenging, the challenge rooms are fun and there are leader boards that you can compete with others online with. There are upgrades available and collectables to discover – and it’s just a real bloody good time! I’m truly satisfied with this game, in fact, it’s one of the few games lately I feel EA has gotten spot on as far as entertainment lately. Zero disappointments from my new pal Zero! So, if you’re hankering for a good ol’ fashion puzzler that will keep you hooked by the seat of your warping little britches – I suggest you check out Warp.
You can pick up Warp for PSN, XBLA, or PC and it’s going for about $9.99 – so for 10 dollars you can tell your friends you just had the most violently fun E.T. experience that you could possibly have. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles it needs to to be fully accessible, and it’s by no-means fully accessible on consoles, but the simplistic controls and engaging puzzles make for a wonderfully dark romp of fun!
Enjoy folks and as always – happy gaming for all!