Dark Nebula Episode One [rating: 4/5]
1337 Game Design sent us the final build for Dark Nebula (same version submitted to Apple) almost 40 days back and today after going through Apple’s long approval process it is finally available in App Store.
Before I start up most apps I will usually have some preconceived ideas about them based on things I’ve read, the fact that they are ports from other versions or from their own marketing, however with Dark Nebula Episode 1 I was a blank canvas and it was a great feeling as the canvas soon became covered in bright paints and dramatic shapes.
Dark Nebula Episode One is a futuristic action puzzler game where the aim is to guide the floating disc though the 10 levels as fast as you can without losing all your lives. The disc floats across the futuristic levels like a marble, moving effortlessly as the accelerometer moves the disc you tilt the iPhone/iPod touch from left to right, back to front.
The only downside to using the accelerometer is that the game doesn’t allow you to calibrate the control’s meaning that you can only play with your iPhone facing up, and most of the time angled forward, which limits things if you want to play the game lying down or even leaning back.
The graphics and animation look beautiful as you race to the end of each level, not that there is much time to stand around as getting a gold medal on each level is not only based on picking up all the capsules that are laid out across the levels but also on how quickly you complete the level. Don’t let the speed of the level get to you, losing your shield or a life will also prevent you from getting a gold medal.
The levels start off relatively relaxed and you’ll only need to navigate the walls, avoid getting spiked, unlock some color coded gates and avoid falling though the levels to complete it. As you progress through each level the number of obstacles increases. From spinning spikes and narrow ledges to fire shooting cannons and sliding rollers there are perilous things to navigate throughout all levels and you’ll probably have to do most levels multiple times until you can complete them without losing a life.
Each level is relatively short taking between 1 to 2 minutes to complete, this makes it an easy to pick and play game. While I was able to complete the game in a little under an hour I still have the task of getting a gold rank on all levels and this gives the game a decent amount of replayability.
What’s missing is multi player options, high score tables, both local and online, and social media interaction, ie. Twitter and Facebook, perhaps these options will be available in a future update or in a future episode.
Future episodes of Dark Nebula are due to be released and if they continue to sell for 99c and are as good as this episode is then they will all be great value for money.
- Smooth, intuitive controls
- Action packed levels
- Edge of the seat excitement
- Beautiful graphics and animations
The Not So Good
- No option to recalibrate the controls
- No high score board
- No multi player option
Reviewed By: Craig Willis
Dark Nebula: iPhone Trailer