In addition to producing a number of clever music applications that my kids and I still play with regularly on the DS and Game Boy Advance, Pix has also recently expanding into mobile phone development. His Room 1 Studios has already released random visual music generators Sonus (One) and Sonus (Six), not to mention his own signature Pixelh8 MicroSynth – which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
And somehow, between his family duties and helping spark an interest among school children in technology and game development and earning his Master of Arts from the Centre for Design Innovation at University Campus Suffolk, Pix took time to crank out an addictive new iPhone title called OCARBOT. It plays a bit like his previous release 6x9 in that it's a cheery, retro-style puzzler with a deceptive level of depth and complexity. Like its predecessor, OCARBOT also relies heavily on a movement mechanic, but this time around Applegate has taken gameplay into a direction not really mined since the days of Donkey Kong and Miner 2049er.
Across 50 levels of puzzle adventure, you seek to navigate the titular robot – a block-mover by trade who's just discovered he's about to be replaced by a newer model – to freedom. You do so by controlling Ocarbot's straightforward two-plane movement, right-left and up-down, as well as employing his unique skill at pushing blinking blocks into conspicuous holes in the floors of his side-view mazes.
The trick is to get him safely to the exit without falling victim to an environmental hazard. And the key, of course, is planning ahead. The game oozes charm thanks as much to its simple but effective presentation as Pixelh8's own custom-composed soundtrack, and at the going rate of 99 cents it's kind of tough not to recommend it. I mean what are you playing on your phone now, anyway? Angry Birds? Still?! Sheesh!
So if you've got a buck and need a new weapon in your boredom-killing arsenal, pick it up. You're supporting both independent development and a member of our community, so it's a win-win.
And speaking of win, Matthew gave me 5 free download codes, which I'll be passing on to you, faithful readers. Just comment here at the blog, or give me a yell via Facebook/Twitter and I'll draw some random winners Monday.
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