As a game reviewer, one has a professional duty to give the received game thorough patient scrutiny. It’s so easy on the mobile platform to give an inexpensive game a try, and if it doesn’t grab you immediately, it ends up on a back page in a forgotten apps folder or simply deleted. However, it would be incredibly irresponsible for a reviewer to form a publishable opinion off of such a small experience. I will admit that if Hyper Trip, a futuristic arcade block dodger, was a game I downloaded independently it would have not have been given a fair shake. Reason being is not for the lack of slick graphics or its bumping soundtrack, but because of its pure challenge. What at first seemed to me a broken game dressed up in shiny production, turns out to be an addictive dash through hyperspace for arcade fans with masochistic leanings.
Hyper Trip is a gorgeous little game, presenting minimalism and futurism done correctly. The menu options consist of music on/off, reset, game center, and credits. Tap to start, beat the first level to go on to the next. The trick is to actually move on to the next level, but more on that later. For the low, low price of $1.99, you get a very cool looking and sounding game that will have onlookers wondering if you’re from the year 20xx.
Hyper Trip’s controls are fairly straightforward: to play the game you tap on the left or right side of the screen to turn your speeding square at a right angle. Things get tricky immediately due to the speed, the seemingly random block placement, and because you leave a trail behind you, similar to the game Snake. No amount of memorization or strategic thinking will help you. Reflexes are everything here and there’s no easy mode. When you crash into an obstacle, the soundtrack slows and warps and then rewinds for you to try again. The psychological frustration of getting into a groove only to be shut down within a few seconds is enough to either break you or make you more determined. I experienced both these sensations, but finally beating the first level left me with great satisfaction.
Hyper Trip records the number of times you have attempted a level. I tried 248 times before I could survive 20 seconds on level one to unlock level 2. Level 2 you need to survive 40 seconds. I’m still trying. Each level is based on a certain pattern in which the obstacle blocks are laid out in squares, lines, waves, and finally a random assortment of all three. It’s too bad there aren’t some cheat codes for this game, because I want to see how ridiculously hard the final stage must be, but I’m going to have to get much better at the game before that’s available to me. I wish there could have been an option to change the difficulty so I could progress through the game further, but unfortunately, the only difficulty available is as brutal as possible.
After first hating the game with all my being, with a little patience I found fun in it. The presentation has the most appeal, but the game is brutal. If you’re an arcade junky or someone with super powers that slow down time, then this “Snake for Skrillex generation” might give you the ride of your life. For most everybody else out there, Hyper Trip is just too difficult. It’s not over complicated, just plain hard – and that ends up diminishing its appeal among other mobile time-wasters.
This review is based on a review copy of the iOS version of the game Hyper Trip by BulkyPix.
- Great graphics
- Nice soundtrack
- Unhealthy amount of challenge
- No ability to change difficulty