Close your eyes, and all you see is the acid-green grid of cubes rushing at you. You keep gliding from left to right, avoiding traps, even in your inner vision, long after you quit playing. Your imagination can’t prevent the sexy female voice from saying ‘Game over! Again!’ over and over again.
- Avoid – Sensory Overload [Android, iOS]
- By NuOxygen Srl
- Price: Free, offers in-app purchases
Avoid is an endless runner like many other games in this niche, yet it has its undisputable charm and perks. If you like electronic music, acid visuals, frustration-level challenge and simple premise – Avoid Sensory Overload is a perfect time killer to check out this month.
The game-play in Avoid is both simple and increasingly difficult. On one hand, the controls are dead plain – tap right to move right, tap left to move left. That’s it.
There are four difficulty modes – easy, medium, hard and extreme. There is also an Endless mode for the hardcore players.
As the names suggest, the easy level is for children. Painlessly, you glide your way across the acid-colored grid, avoiding blocks and holes on your way, and before long, you pass all the easy levels. However, that’s when easy is over.
Everything beyond easy has a tendency to get you twisting and jerking as you play. The challenge increases along the speed, and before you know it – the three ships die, and you have to start over.
There is no pattern you can learn to predict the placement of blocks, rockets and holes. At the same time, you will also learn while playing because it is not immediately clear whether an object coming your way is an obstacle or a power-up.
There is a points booster, or a block remover. Also, there is a shield that lets you go through obstacles. As far as the obstacles are concerned, it’s a mine field there. The grid itself keeps changing from a broad highway to a tiny one-way bridge over an abyss. The blocks come in groups and sometimes block the entire passage way, and the only way you can go through is catch that ‘Down!’ power-up.
There are only two buttons to move left and right, and the controls are very responsive. Throughout my nearly week-long experience with Avoid, I haven’t experienced any lag, except for the cases when I paused the game.
There are no tilt controls – perfectly fine by me, while others may find it a disadvantage.
Easy level is accessible for the children to play while anything beyond that is hardcore. The game takes your reflexes and composure to extremes, and unless you have a little bit of patience to learn the moves and become good at it, you might feel frustrated and even bored. That’s why we insist you start with Easy levels, unless you are a Smash Hit pro.
Visuals and Music
Besides the Tron-like atmosphere and challenging game-play, Avoid’s main appeal is the sound score and visuals, provided you are a fan of electronic music and peculiar bright design. The entire game feels like an interactive soundtrack, and being a Daft Punk aficionado, I fully enjoy the experience, even though the neon colors do provide a ground for sensory overload.
It just dawned on me – the acid colors aim to distract you from the traps, and with the rhythm-bumping walls around the highway, the design does a great job of distracting your focus.
You unlock next level when you finish the previous one, so basically you can play without in-app purchases whatsoever. What you can buy, though, is a couple of skins and soundtracks to enjoy even more neon and more electro beat.
Thankfully, the game lets you do a test drive of the paid skins, and you can see it for yourself whether you enjoy the color scheme and music. The two additional skins for Android are the multicolored Laserdance and the neon-blue Synthrock, which are a reasonable buy.
- Points multiplier gets you more points, but if you should miss one, the next one is decreased in value. The more you advance and the faster the pace, the harder it is to grab the multiplier, and you might find yourself just having a side thought – ‘should have grabbed it, but how?’
- Shield lets you pass through one collision.
- Green compress power up makes you shrink in size.
- Laser lets you destroy everything in front of you because it only shoots in automatic mode and only straight ahead of your ship. Did I say you ride a ship? It’s nothing special, just a small rocket ship, but you can customize its color.
- Drop cubes purple box drops all on-screen cubes.
- Cannon shoots a bullet once in a while and destroys an obstacle it hits.
- Ghost power-up lets you pass through things.
- Tile closes holes that are on screen the moment you grab it.
- Cubes are the most numerous ones and come in groups and one by one, nasty kind.
- Holes in the floor are just as deadly as the cubes, and even more cunning since they are easier to overlook.
- Rotator blades come in higher levels and are static, but deadly.
- Metal balls move from left to right and back to left, deadly.
- Death rays are deadly, but so are the red missiles that get activated when you move along their trajectory.
- Intense game-play
- Awesome soundtrack
- Acid neon graphics
- You can play and enjoy totally free of charge
- Easy controls
- Difficult to the point of frustration
Avoid Sensory Overload looks like a Tron kind of game, with atmospheric music and intense game-play. The first few levels are a piece of cake, but before long the game turns into a hellish maze of digital race. It is thoroughly enjoyable and addictive, but beware – the game’s grungy design will inevitably imprint itself into the fabric of your optic nerve, as much as the ‘Faster!’ command of your virtual operator.
Avoid is a fast-paced, impossibly challenging endless arcade runner with awesome soundtrack and rhythm-pumping neon visuals. Give it a chance – don’t give up the first ten times you fail, and you will surely master the moves and enjoy succeeding, and who knows, you might as well climb the leader board.