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Project 83113


For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Lilo and stitch up

Product: Project 83113 | Developer: Fabrication Games | Publisher: NCsoft | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1 | File size: 41.9mb | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Project 83113 iPhone, thumbnail 1
iOS gaming is many things – innovative, occasionally puerile, often lightweight, and even a little cynical - but rarely is it crushingly, brutally difficult. Project 83113, the pretty new platformer from PC-specialists NCSoft is an absolute monster.

It starts off so innocently enough. You control a little pink cuddly thing who looks like he (or she) was born out of the same genetic experiment that created Disney's Stitch.

In fact, "control" is putting it too strongly, as you only have glancing influence over your sprite. You swipe in the direction you'd like to travel, and old pinky keeps running until you hold the screen to stop.

You can swipe upwards to jump, forwards to dash, or down to slide under objects, and as you hurtle from left to right you’ll find yourself under the type of fire usually reserved for bonkers Cave shooters like Bug Princess 2 and Espgaluda II.

Thankfully, you can fire back, but not in the most useful way. You fire your weapon automatically, and tapping on the screen unleashes a powerful charged shot that can take out a group of baddies - but doing so saps huge amounts of your own health, leaving you at the mercy of the enemy.

Blind Luck

After a few levels, Project 83113 gets incredibly tough. Almost unfairly so. The screen is drowned in bullets, and it takes all your swiping and finger-flicking skill to avoid even half of them.

Getting three stars on each level (achieved by taking alternative routes and locating hidden packages) is surely impossible, although you do eventually earn upgrade tokens to give your gun a little bit more juice. "Eventually" being the key word.

The crushing difficulty really pushes Project 83113's unusual controls to breaking point at times. While the general ebb and flow of easier sections works splendidly – far better than on-screen thumbsticks – not being able to take out individual enemies yourself can leave you cursing the lack of direct input.

It's all very well losing, but losing when someone else is at the wheel? That's not fun.

Cash For Gold

If you're feeling cynical you might perceive a connection between Project 83113's prominent IAPs and its stupid difficulty. As always, the freemium model can be the enemy of good game design.

Which is a shame, as there's a really slick platformer under all the brutality. But having to pay extra just to enjoy it may alienate you.
 
Project 83113
Reviewer photo
Jon Denton | 12 June 2012
Interesting controls and sharp visuals belie one of the hardest platformers on iOS. Brutal
 
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