One Man Left Studios just became my new favorite indie developer. Why? Because of their amazing first release on the App Store – Tilt to Live. At first, the game looked extremely simple and underwhelming, but as soon as I got into it I realized it was extremely hectic, fun, and addicting. With a concept as simple as keeping a white arrow away from red dots, One Man Left Studios has managed to create something that might just be the next App Store classic.
In Tilt to Live, you control a white arrow whose sole goal is to eradicate as many of the red dots before he gets taken down. I have no idea how it got there, and why it’s trapped in a finite box with an infinite amount of red enemies, but I do know that Tilt to Live is extremely fun and well thought out.
Controlling the arrow is done by tilting your iPhone or iPod Touch in the necessary directions. While games utilizing the accelerometer have never been very attractive to me, Tilt to Live is just too hard to resist, especially since there are three preset tilt positions (normal, bent-over, and sleepy), and a fourth where you can calibrate the acceleromter to your liking. I have no gripes whatsoever regarding the controls; navigating my arrow through the swarms of red opponents is fluid and easy to do.
The game isn’t frustratingly hard, but nor is it easy. Somehow, the difficulty level is perfect for beginners and hardcore gamers alike, and that’s a factors that’s extremely hard to put into a game. In the beginning, the rate of dot spawning is slow, and they move at you in a sluggish and lethargic manner. However, as time goes by, they become fast, and will form shapes to target you in creative ways. For example, a clump of red dots may form arrows to home in on you, or even create two paddles and a square to play a game of Pong with your arrow caught in between. This is where the game gets hard and requires skill. However, it never feels like the difficulty ramps up, unless you think about it, because it just feels so natural. By being able to target both the casual and hardcore crowds, One Man Left Studios shows their talent at creating games.
There are numerous powers at your disposal, with more of requiring a certain amount of points to be unlocked. The first three “basic” weapons include a bomb that triggers upon being touched, and wide plasma blast that is fired from your arrow after a few seconds, and a weapon that unleashes a set of five homing missiles. Thankfully, the point requirements for new weapons are cumulative, meaning that you can get 5,000 points in one game, then get another 15,000 in another to unlock a weapon that requires a total of 20,000 points. That means you can play Tilt to Live on and off whenver you want, and still unlock cool new things to play around with as time goes on.
Lastly, Tilt to Live has been stuffed full of humor. The loading screen is downright hilarious. For example, the loading screen might say, “To get into the game, you must play a game of thumb war with yourself and win” or “To play the game, you must hide from your iPhone for several seconds.” In addition, the achievements are funny as well. When you get a combo of five kills, you’ll gain the “Highest Combo Conceivable” achievement, but then once you get a combo of twenty kills, you’ll get the “We Lied” achievement. There are also references to the movies “Dawn of the Dead” and “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” which will make you smile and chuckle when you see them.
Tilt to Live is an amazing, addicting game that should be on everyone’s iPhone or iPod Touch. The fun and humor in this game just can’t be passed up on. I highly recommend Tilt to Live, but before you go and purchase the game, I warn you to be wary of one thing. Prepare yourself for the Dawn of the Red.