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Vandals review - A graffiti game that takes the foundations of the GO games and shakes them up


For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

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Product: Vandals | Publisher: Cosmografik | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
There have been a few games that have tried to grab onto the coattails of Square Enix's GO series, but few of them have managed to put any sort of interesting new spin on the turn-based puzzle genre.

That is until now. Vandals takes the basic shape, adds in some ideas of its own, including some criminal damage, and covers the whole thing in a gorgeous art-style that zings off your iPhone or iPad screen.

It's got a few problems, but over all this is a brilliant extension of the genre that isn't afraid to bring some new ideas to the table.

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The game sees you playing a graffiti artist. You need to get to a specific place, lay down some paint, then get out without getting captured by the police. It's easier said than done.

To begin with the officers out to get you are fixed in one place. You can chuck bottles to distract them, or blow a whistle to catch their attention. As soon as you spray though, they'll come after you.

As you go through the levels though your assailants get more versatile. They'll stalk along paths, and you'll need to use environmental tricks to get past them. Like hiding in a bush, or diving into the sewers and popping out somewhere else.

Vandals iOS review screenshot

The tagging itself takes place in an MS Paint-style interface. You scribble out your masterpiece, and it's saved to your black book. You can share your tags with friends on social networks too.

It's a simple addition, but it adds a personal touch to the game that makes things feel that little bit less familiar. And that's a good thing, since the mechanics here are mostly the same as the likes of Hitman GO. Albeit with less murder.

There were a few stability issues and crashes when I played through, but nothing too annoying. And the bite-sized nature of the levels meant I never lost too much progress. One slightly annoying thing was the zoom. Sometimes when you're moving through the sewers you can't see the exit, and the pinching and taps you need to figure out where you're ending up aren't perfect.

Tag this


Those are minor problems though, and while they take a little of the sheen off the game, they don't manage to tarnish it too much. This is still a brilliant and intelligent puzzler that's perfectly designed for mobile play.

If you love the GO games, then you're going to love this. But it's much more than a simple clone, and it's worth checking out even if you weren't a massive fan of the board game-ish adventures of Lara and co.
 
Vandals review - A graffiti game that takes the foundations of the GO games and shakes them up
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 12 April 2018
Vandals adds some new ideas to a genre that needed them, and it's also an incredible amount of fun
 
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