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Electric City The Revolt

For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneiPad
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Not enough spark

Product: Electric City The Revolt | Publisher: Reliance Games | Format: Android | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | File size: 137MB | Version: Europe
 
Electric City The Revolt Android, thumbnail 1
One of the buzzwords of the past couple of years has been 'transmedia'. It's about cross-platform experiences: games, movies, and television programs all delivering parts of the same story.

In a way, Electric City The Revolt showcases the strengths and weaknesses of the concept in one fell swoop. It's a bizarrely engaging video game experience that's oddly directionless unless you watch the web series that accompanies it. 

But even if you do, at no point are you sufficiently interested in the world around you to search for information, and nor does the game give it to you.

Free radio

As an exercise in connected multimedia experiences, then, Electric City The Revolt is a bit of a damp squib, but as a game it offers up a raft of reasonably interesting ideas - albeit ideas that sometimes get lost under old-fashioned design choices.

The game casts you as Frank Deetleman, an agent fighting against the oppression that's rife in the titular city. It's your job to bring free communication to the masses. There are eight different levels to work through, each taking the form of a maze.

Within these mazes are several objectives, ranging from parts you need to collect to houses you need to break into to secure the future of your revolution. Guards patrol the streets and alleys, their gazes represented by green triangles.

Step into one of these triangles and it turns red, whereupon the guard will start to chase you. The law enforcement officers are much quicker than you, too, so you need to find a way to get out of sight before they catch up. Get caught three times and it's Game Over.

Eclectic city

The first level is simply a case of collecting a number of items before you can move on, but each new setting has its own victory conditions. Some need you to solve puzzles before the time runs out, while others see you leading an accomplice to safety.

There's a time limit, as well, and if you fail to complete enough objectives before the clock runs down you'll have to start over. You don't need to bag everything to finish the level, but you'll get extra acclaim if you do.

You control Frank with an onscreen joystick, and an 'interact' button flashes up on the right-hand side of the screen when it's needed. This lets you dig holes, fix transformers, and engage in a variety of other context-sensitive actions.

Bad lines of communication

While there are some entertaining, and quite tense, moments in the game, they're often confounded by odd design. Most of the time you're forced to walk on the clear paths in the mazes, but often a single wrong turn will see you cornered.

Then there are the times when the game switches its mechanic without telling you, changing your escape route and leaving you stumbling around trying to find a way out as the clock ticks down to your inevitable demise.

There's a severe lack of content, as well, and even a less seasoned gamer will polish the title off in an hour or so.

Electric City The Revolt is an interesting but ultimately flawed experiment. It's too generous to its players some of the time, and too stringent with them the rest. When it gets things right it's a lot of fun, but when it gets things wrong it's a bit of a mess.

iOS version reviewed.
 
Electric City The Revolt
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 23 July 2012
A not particularly impressive experiment in cross-platform storytelling, Electric City The Revolt has its moments, but they're too few and far between
 
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