Soul [rating: 4/5]
It’s pretty rare that a computer game can strike fear into you, the original Resident Evil was the first to make me physically jump while recently it was the eerily superb Fear that had me reaching for the cushion. However, no such iPhone /iPod Touch game has got the same reaction…..until now!
The premise of Soul is that you need to help the soul of a dead man reach Heaven rather than the dark depths of Hell. The game starts in what appears to be a dark, old, institutionalized hospital with a corpse laying motionless on table with a glowing, white ball hovering over it. The glowing, white ball is in fact the soul of the person lying dead on the table and it is in your hands.
You move the soul via the use of the accelerometer, tilting your iPhone or iPod Touch left, right, backwards and forwards will move your soul around the screen and as is becoming more common place you can re-calibrate the accelerometer at any time so that you can play the game in any position. You can also control the sensitivity of the movement too which certainly helps.
The view of the environment is a top down 2D view of the hospital and it’s a dark one too giving the whole game a level of tension that I’ve not felt before in a hand held game. Each stage/location in the game is a new maze where you have to navigate the narrow dark corridors to the exit on each level. The game is unforgiving and you will find yourself being sent back to the beginning of the level multiple times as you attempt to navigate the narrow passages.
While initially you are zoomed in on the Soul unable to view what’s ahead of you holding a finger on the screen will zoom out showing more information to decide on the appropriate route to take. This won’t help you on certain levels though as they are bathed in darkness with only the small amount of light emanating from your Soul acting as your guide.
The fearsome undercurrent in the game is extrapolated by the monsters, (resembling psychotic Killer Whales), that leap out from the darkness and the spooky young girl that mysteriously appears through the game. The cut scenes are also beautifully drawn and only add to the eerie undercurrent. If you’ve seen those YouTube video’s where a gruesome face will suddenly appear while you are watching an apparently sedate move of a car driving through the mountains then you will know exactly what to expect from this game.
I found myself gripping my iPod Touch tighter and tighter as I played through the levels, a combination of the tension from fear and the the frustration from the tricky levels that I often had to restart over and over again.
Somewhat annoyingly there is no auto-save function in the game so before switching the the game off you must remember to save the game otherwise all you progress will be lost. The game is also a single player game only so once you’ve completed it there will be little replay value. There are 3 difficulty levels through that will add extra challenges to the task in hand with the Hardcore level specifically making life difficult by adding a timer to each level.
- Great level of tension
- Atmospheric sound and graphics
- Finger numbingly addictive
The Not So Good
- No auto-save
- Limited re-play value
Reviewed By: Craig Willis
Soul Trailer (Xbox Live Indie Game)
Price: $1.99 (iTunes Store Preview)
Updated Mar 02, 2010
Reviewed Version: v1.1
Size: 19.8 MB
Seller: Kydos Studio
© 2010 Kydos Studio
Rated 12+ for the following:
Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone and iPod touch. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.