Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LittleMan (Game Review)

I am fascinated by the varieties of games in the Firefox OS Marketplace and take it as a sign of genuine interest by game creators world wide. Today's game is from somewhere by Bruno Eduardo da Cunha. There's no web site or Twitter, just an email. A casual trip through Google doesn't get me any more. Most of the time I can find out more about a game developer, but not this time. If anyone knows Bruno Eduardo da Cunha, let me know. I'll send him an email!

And it doesn't matter. A game speaks for itself, whatever person or country it comes from. The game under the microscope is called LittleMan and it's about a ... little man!


One of the things I noticed right away was that the clouds are moving in the background of the title screen. I like that attention to detail.


The screen also has some nice little details: the broken column, the greenery at the top, and the cracked tiles. The title screen also lets you mute the sound and start over.

And the game has music! A happy chip-tune inspired music that you won't want to turn off!

By the way, the game loads over the Internet and takes a while, but when you see the art and realize how many screens there are, you'll understand.

Once you start the game, you'll get to pick a level to play.


And this game has a lot. Assuming you get through the first 15 levels, there are another 15 levels.


Note again that this second level screen is a sunset view and helps you to see that it is different.

Each level is different and each level is difficult. That's the most important thing to say about this game. It isn't easy, but each level makes you solve different puzzles as you attempt to get through the level.

Clicking the first level takes you to the first screen:


You are that little man, standing in the doorway on the left. The top left shows you the level number and the top right, "Menu", takes you back to the level select menu.

The game controls are simple. The two blue arrows move you left or right, and the A button makes you jump. That's all you need to know. 

Here is the little man moving from the door to the middle. No dangers yet!


 And the clouds move here, too! The point of the game is to move and jump, but avoid deadly traps. Here is the little man after he's jumped up on the single block just to the left of the center pillar. He can go past the pillar, but he can't jump over the three vertical blocks.


But maybe he can jump from where he is to the top of the three vertical blocks?


Yes! He did it. A combination of pressing the right arrow and the "A" key does it. But you have to time it just right. But now he must be careful. If he hops off the block, he's in danger of falling onto the deadly spikes. He must hop to the two horizontal blocks and then off again.

This is just the beginning. That was easy. After avoiding the spikes, he keeps moving and sees more of the level.


The gray block with a face is moving up and down. What to do? That tower on the right is full of spikes. But he can't get there!


Well, yes he can. But it is tricky. You can't just jump up to where you see the little man above directly. You must jump onto the block under the moving gray block while the block is moving up and then quickly jump up to the left block before the moving block comes back down. Then you can jump up to the higher block on the other side of the moving block, but don't let that gray moving block touch you or you die! From there you can jump to the top of the tower and then down to the other side and the exit door.


And that's just the first level. Whew!

Here's the second level.



This level is more difficult because you must make a series of jumps right away and get very high up to grab a key that you can see in the upper left corner. 

And so on and so on! More puzzles await you involving both logic and dexterity!

I like this game a lot and it promises several hours of fun, trying to solve the puzzles and not dying. However, if you do die, you only go back to the start of the level you are in and there isn't any scoring. I give extra points to the art and the music because they create a mood. Go, little man, go!

Cost: Free
Genre: Platformer
Score: 5 (out of 5)
Tested on: ZTE Open and Geeksphone Peak
Get it at: Firefox Marketplace
https://marketplace.firefox.com/app/littleman

PS: one of the reviewers on the Marketplace said it didn't work on the ZTE Open, but it does work on my ZTE Open. Because you load the game over the Internet, that might cause problems, and the download is long because 30 screens is a lot!