Incoboto Shines in a Galaxy Full of Adventure

Posted: March 1, 2012 in Adventure, Platformer

“It fits like a glove” is something that can’t often be said about video games and the many platforms out there.  Too many variables come into play that can tip the playing experience for better or for worse.  In the case of Incoboto by Fluttermind’s Dene Carter, I couldn’t imagine this amazing and unique game being more well-suited than it is on the iPad.  Most players will not only feel at with this beautiful puzzle adventure, they’ll have an equally wondrous time of discovery.

In the spirit of the Mayan prophecy, the theme in Incoboto is one of devastation and ultimately rebirth and takes the player through an unfolding storyline.  Journeying through a number of worlds each with its own intriguing qualities, Inco is the little guy who leaves his own world to not only save other worlds but also for any survivors.  Within the galaxy, all the suns have been extinguished except for one named Helios and the responsibility lies with Inco to feed him.

The journey takes place in a galaxy through 16 star systems each full of obstacles and puzzles that need to be solved in order to secure the life source—Starpieces—Helios depends to stay bright.  Charming in nature, the environments and the soundtrack make Incoboto one of those games that will both relax and engage you.

The intuitive touch controls take full advantage of the iPad and in general work remarkably well.  To move Inco, press the spot where you want to move him.  If you feel more comfortable, players can also switch to the directional keypad.  Another basic control is jumping which Inco will do plenty of and is as simple as tapping and sliding anywhere on the screen.  Inco can also carry and drop items which are designated during the game, and throwing is achieved by dragging a line from Inco toward the target and releasing.

Visually, Incoboto provides an eye appealing galaxy full of worlds waiting to be explored.  The obstacles are many with lots of depth and animation.  If you’ve played Soosiz, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for as you travel around each world.

While Incoboto is a game, each planet is a microcosm of the issues we face in the real world.  The Corporation has destroyed the environment, and many of the issues that Inco faces have been created to prevent progress in addressing them.  Each level consists of several small planets that Inco travels and navigates between.   Players will initially use gravity beams and jetpacks and later on evolve into more tricky devices such as grappling hooks and teleports.

The puzzles themselves do require a bit of exploration and coordinated moves as the solutions aren’t necessarily obvious or intuitive.  As with any platformer, there’s a plethora of moving parts, switches and items that unlock hidden areas and allow players to progress further.  Whether reachable by cranes or ledges, Starpieces are often located in less than easy to reach areas and often I found myself switching between the tap-to-move scheme to the directional keypad to improve movement accuracy.

The game feels linear in nature because Sungates open up once objectives are met within each level.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing because you’ll want to spend some time exploring the various worlds.  You’ll often come across an object such as a switch that is seemingly so out of reach and have you scratching your head.  The details are worth checking out simply because there are so many ways to interact with the environment.  And while many may want to rush through the game, Incoboto is one that should be savored.

Along the way, Inco is reminded of the Corporation via monitors activated by touch.  The messages can be ominous, and most serve as warnings of things to come.  The game feels balanced as the puzzles gradually become more difficult and test your logic and decision making skills.

Incoboto has GameCenter and OpenFeint support which provides for a variety of achievements.

Incoboto’s satisfying experience is one that many will enjoy because it evokes that sense that while the galaxy may be large, everything is connected in some way.  That may sound strange to talk about a game in that sense, but once you start playing, “there’s no place like home” will likely ring true.

Albie Meter: 5 Stars (imaginative game in an equally imaginative world; engaging gameplay that will have many rushing to complete it and disappointed once it finally ends; unique levels along with intuitive controls; well balanced difficulty)


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