I Am Level Review (Android)
This is retro platforming action given a refreshing twist with the use of your mobile devices hardware. Smiling Bags ‘I am Level’, currently available for android in the Play Store, makes use of your devices movement and allows the game to control the level instead of the character.
The main aim of the game is to collect stars and progress as far as you can through the level, as each area is part of a much larger map that you are only witness to after you hit play. There are nice touches throughout the game that let you know the developer was always thinking of the user during development. An example of this is when you choose a new skin to play in, when you have made your choice a message will pop up on screen saying “good choice”. Little things like that speak to me as a gamer. I like how you are getting positive feedback, purely for just choosing a new costume.
The gameplay is varied and engaging, with lots of levels with varying degrees of difficulty. There is a lot of game here, and unlocking sections of the map shows how much hard work has gone into the design of I Am Level. Each area plays off the next, as you drop from one stage to another, the second stage might have a curved landing that, if you are slow to react, will send you speedily to your doom.
One of the features of the game I personally really like is how a new ball is introduced to the game. It is launched into the level you are currently on as if being forcibly kicked in. Every time I lose a life these few moments break my groans of displeasure from my silly mistake and make me smile.
Concentration is key. This could be classed as a casual game, but it definitely requires a lot of skill, patience and great timing to progress. The game plays a lot like pinball, with the ball taking all the punishment that the level throws at it, but also in that dying doesn’t really matter in this game. Fair enough, you want to get as far as you can and get as many stars as possible in each playthrough, but you don’t level up until you lose your last life and without the unlocks that leveling up provides you won’t be able to access certain levels.
The games levels are fraught with dangers, making navigating them a wee bit more difficult. After you die you are taken to the experience screen and all the stars that you have collected will add to your total. This will unlock skills for your character as well as unlocking new costumes to play in – my favourite being the tartan kilt.
Unlockable abilities include being able to pass through certain coloured boxes or an increase to the number of lives you start off with. The only down side to this is the fact that it is done outside of gameplay.
The game boasts an awesome chiptune soundtrack that nods to the retro platformers of yesteryear. I am Level doesn’t just sound retro, it also looks retro, and this is to its advantage. The simplistic art style makes it far easier to play the game as you aren’t being distracted by an overcrowded screen, which is good for the players, who will most likely be playing it on their phones.
Overall, this game is fantastically easy to pick up and doesn’t try showing off, but manages to amaze anyway. It’s central concept of allowing you to control the level rather than the main character is nice and I haven’t played a game like it before. I’d recommend this game to everyone. The game will also be available for iOS in the near future.
4.5 stars out of 5I Am Level Review (Android),