Square Planet iPad Review
Let's cut right to the chase. Square Planet is a particularly poor amalgamation of a handful of platform games ranging from Sonic The Hedgehog to Rolando. Your task? To steer a round character around a number of square levels, gathering square rings, and freeing little square characters from little square cages, all the while being driven round the bend by some of the most boring and generic level design we've ever placed our hands on.
My feelings about tilt-controls are pretty well-documented, and unless they're necessary should always be the last resort. But while it's hard to imagine the gameplay of Square Planet working with touch controls, the combination of arm-waving idiocy and dreadful level design makes this an incredibly frustrating and unsatisfying experience. You stop, you start, you scream at the controls to hurry up, you wonder where the fun is.
There are a couple dozen courses spread between the two zones in the free download, but because the action is zoomed in so close to the character, there's no fun to be had in negotiating any of them, just an endless stream of blunt stops while you readjust the controls to get the character moving again.
Square Planet might have redeemed itself with its visuals, a harsh geometric styling that reminds us of Oh Cube!, but the game in motion is a horrific mess. The framerate halts entirely from time to time, it never settles down entirely, and at its best rejoices in occasional double-digit performance. Before reaching the end of this first set of levels, we had a thumping headache and felt quite ill.
We like to review games a little more in depth, but really a couple of sentences would have done here. It's a juddering, technically incompetent, nauseating, migraine-inducing example of non-fun, with level design that sucks whatever joy might otherwise have been had from the game. It costs nothing to download and will drive you up the wall in exchange for your time.
What's Hot: Functionally, it's not completely broken.
What's Not: Bad framerates, bad level design, and bad headaches. It's bad.