Could it be an act?
With Laserdisc games like Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace and Road Blaster becoming popular to port over
to iOS, it’s surprising that no-one has come up with an original version of these animated classics
until now. Enter Chillingo and developer React Entertainment to provide a modern take on the fully
animated interactive movie genre.
The Act is basically an interactive cartoon story which sees the hapless hero Edgar fall for a beautiful nurse while he’s cleaning windows at the hospital. What follows is a hilarious series of slapstick style events which leads Edgar in to the path of his would-be love interest.
During the game, the player comes in at certain points in the game to control Edgar but, unlike those
classic Don Bluth games, The Act requires simple swipes to the left or right to control his actions and
reactions. While it sounds a little basic on paper it works far better than the directional pad and
fire buttons of games like Space Ace and ensures that the player has the whole screen to work with,
without worrying about tiny virtual buttons.
The control system also seems much more intuitive than a virtual stick. During some scenes, swiping
left will make Edgar more coy and reserved, while swiping right will give him more confidence.
Getting the balance right in reply to reactions from Sylvia is the key to success and it isn’t always
obvious how far to take Edgar’s advances. Luckily, there is a three lives system in play to help
complete a level and failure will only drop you back to the beginning of that act.
Other sections see you hurtling around corners, avoiding objects, in a bid to rescue your brother or
avoiding your angry boss. While the outcome isn’t always certain, the control system means that
this is never down to an issue with knowing what to do.
The animation and story in The Act is superb. It feels as if you’re watching a classic animated movie
from Norman Wisdom or Harold Lloyd. It has all the hallmarks of a silent slapstick movie, including a
great musical score which highlights the action perfectly.
The only downside to all of this is the length of the game. Because The Act makes it so easy to try
again if you get things wrong, most players will find themselves completing the game within an hour.
As with classic movies, this may well be deserving of plenty of replays, but there’s a nagging feeling
that the game could have been much longer.
Even with its short run time, The Act is still easy to recommend as an excellent take on animated
laserdisc games. With any luck, Chillingo will be encouraged to work with React Entertainment on a
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 10
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 6
Page 1 of 1