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Standby review - A super tough platformer that's dripping with polish

For: iPhone

You died

Product: Standby | Format: iPhone | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Standby is an unflinchingly cruel game. It does not care one jot about your frustrations, and while its levels are short, they're so tightly designed that a single mistake will send you back to the beginning.

And you're going to make a lot of mistakes. This is a game that screams past at breakneck speed, chewing you up and spitting you out without a second thought.

But it always feels like the mistakes are your mistakes, and that's key. This is a brilliantly put together, spectacularly angry game that platformer masochists are going to absolutely adore.

Hold on

The game sees you sprinting through a series of levels. You've got four buttons at your disposal. Two let you move left and right, the other two need to be used in combinations to avoid a variety of obstacles.

Tapping the down button lets you slide, and tapping it again while you're sliding whips out your gun. There are double jumps, moves that let you smash through blocks below you, and plenty more to learn.

Each level plays out like a continuous, perfectly-timed combo. You're tapping the right buttons at the right time to avoid the glowing red death traps and giant holes that want nothing more than to steal your life.

There are no checkpoints, so you need to ensure you get everything right in one go. Even then you're unlikely to hit the time limit on the level, or grab all of the coins that are placed in front of you.

You don't need to do those things, but completionists are going to head back in time and time again to try and properly defeat the game. And if it gets its claws into you, there's little you're going to be able to do to stop yourself.

The controls can sometimes be a little fiddly, but once you get used to them things work pretty darn well. The game looks gorgeous, like a minimalist reimagining of the bright platformers of the past.

But the hardcore edge of the game is decidedly modern. And it fits comfortably into the canon of the other great, pull-your-hair-out experiences that you can find on the App Store.

Fall back down

It's not going to be to everyone's tastes. This isn't the sort of game you can just pick up and get on with. You need to learn the intricacies of it, the timing of the jumps, and the way you can join together your moves to succeed.

But those who stick with it will find a fresh, super difficult adventure, that should keep them entertained for hours.
Standby review - A super tough platformer that's dripping with polish
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 9 August 2017
A super sharp hardcore platform that wants to kill you, in the very best way, at every turn
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