Size DOES Matter Review (iOS)
Mixing things up in a genre is a good thing. In fact, it is often what draws us towards a new game. It can also be a tricky line to walk – changing or combining too many things may end up leaving your shiny new creation somewhat confused and struggling to find an identity. This is the predicament that Size DOES Matter finds itself in.
Size DOES Matter is a music action game from DOS Studios and published by Channel 4. The game aims to be a cross between traditional rhythm games like Theatrhythm and puzzle games like Lumines. Players take control of a block that needs to be guided between a series of gaps. These gaps vary in size and position on the screen that looks like a mash-up of Tetris, Space Giraffe and Geometry Wars. The player can also change the size of their block as well as its position on the screen to ensure they fit through the gap properly. The gaps whizz past your block in time to the beats of the music thus bringing the rhythm element that is generally absent from music puzzle games. There are various powerups that will appear to help bolster your score. Slow mo slows things down to allow you to navigate particular tricky sections in a song whilst the doubler gives you another block which effectively doubles your combo level as you pass through a gap.
The music in Size DOES Matter is one of its main selling points, being a mixture of EDM and Chiptune. Players can look forward to music from composers who have worked on the music for Savant: Ascent, Super Hexagon, Hotline Miami and Spelunky. Although some of the EDM was not to my particular taste, it works rather well within the game and fits the minimalist graphics really well. All of the songs are graded from super easy to difficult. They also have various sequences that ramp up the difficulty once you complete them. Each track starts off with you having three strikes. Each time you make a mistake – such as not passing the right size block through a gap or missing a gap completely – you lose a strike. Should you get to the end of a track with one or more strikes you get to play the next sequence of the track which is the same music but the layout of the gaps is mixed up and made slightly more difficult. It is a strange way of dealing with difficulty levels of songs; to get to the more difficult sequences you need to play through the “easier” ones every time. It turns playing a song into a survival mode which at times leaves you feeling like you’re playing a frantic shooter rather than a music game.
Playing Size DOES Matter was a bit of a strange experience for this reviewer. The whole puzzle mechanic of the game works well and is fun in short blasts which is perfect for commuting. The difficulty curve is well thought out too, with things only starting to get manic on the last seven of the fourteen songs. Where things get strange is the rhythm part of the game. Seeing and hearing the gaps go past your block in time to the music is weird, particularly in early levels, as you are not interacting with the music. You have merely lined your block up with a row of gaps which then whizz past. It’s not something you see often in these music puzzle games and just feels rather odd. You should stick with it though as it becomes less noticeable in the crazy later levels.
Size DOES Matter then takes a solid game idea (puzzles and music) and mixes some traditional rhythm actions elements in for good measure. The result is a rhythm puzzle game that will delight and frustrate in equal measure. The three strike system feels like something is missing when you can complete a track even once you get more than three strikes yet you are not good enough to try the higher difficulty level of that particular track. Despite my frustrations with certain aspects of Size DOES Matter, I did find myself muttering “one more go” at certain tracks. So, if you are like having your head slightly mangled and your feet tapping to some cool Chiptunes then Size DOES Matter may be just up your street.
3.5 speeding blocks out of 5