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For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone, 3DS


Product: Proun+ | Developer: Joost van Dongen | Format: iPad | Genre: Hardcore, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Proun+ iPad, thumbnail 1
Proun+ is, at times, beautifully chaotic. It captures the twitchy madness of the likes of Super Hexagon and Unpossible, then parcels it up in the guise of a racer.

The levels you're crashing through aren't random – they're the same each and every time you try and complete them, and that means they're entirely conquerable.

Or at least they should be. But this is a game that prides itself on breakneck speed, that, if you want it to, is only too happy to let go of your hand and let you plough into its multitude of brightly coloured obstacles.

But that chaotic pulse at the heart of it all makes failure just another step towards perfection. It makes reaching for the retry button the only logical course of action.

Die trying

The game takes the central premise of Unpossible and then wraps a whole host of new ideas around it. You're a blob of colour racing down a pipe. Rather than stark cyberpunk grey though, everything here is painted in the brightest of colours.

It feels like you're bursting through a cubist painting, slicing your way across weird geometry that bends and curves away to infinity.

A press on the left of the screen twists your ball that way, a press on the right spins it that way. You also have brake and boost, which come in remarkably handy.

There are tilt controls and a floating joystick option as well, and they all work remarkably well. When you crash, and you will crash, you never feel like the buttons have betrayed you.

Die screaming

Most of the time you're racing against other blobs. You can't touch them, but you can see them whizz by when you make a mistake.

Other levels see you trying to keep moving for as long as possible without hitting anything, or place point-scoring gates around the track and task you with gaining as high a score as possible.

There's a star rating system, and the stars you earn unlock new levels. Complete enough and you'll unlock a new speed setting and repeat the whole process all over again.

This gradual amplification of the difficulty setting means you're never overwhelmed, and learning the tracks on slower speeds sets you in good stead to conquer them once the going gets insane.

Die speeding

And it does get insane. The speeds on some of the later levels almost beggar belief, and completing them alone feels like you've overcome some herculean challenge.

The fact that you barely have time to register just how gorgeous the game looks speaks volumes about the quality of the gameplay.

This is knife-edge stuff of the very highest order - you'll curse, you'll scream, and when you conquer a challenge you'll cheer in relief and delight.

Even those without a head for true twitching will find the lower speed settings enjoyable, and a brilliant soundtrack beats through the heart of everything you do.

On the larger screen of the iPad Proun+ is a rare delight, although things do get a little more fiddly on earlier generations of iPhone.

Still, this is one to savour. A bright, searingly good twitch racer that takes the fundaments of the genre and builds something staggeringly entertaining on top of them.
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 27 November 2014
A wonderfully put together game that manages to take the best elements of two genres and squish them together into a cohesive whole. Highly recommended
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