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This Could Hurt
by Paul Byron on Wednesday 23rd May 2012

They're not kidding.

Chillingo seem to have a knack for finding some fantastically odd games and their portfolio has just been given another boost with This Could Hurt, the new game from developer Orange Agenda.

Being a Tree Guard is obviously a tough job and one that relies on taking a lot of pain.  With that in mind,the unlikely hero of This Could Hurt is sent out as an apprentice to prove he has the right stuff.  This involves being put through a series of tests where everything from buzz-saw blades to hammers and acid are flung in his direction, all aiming to main or kill the little guy.

 

This Could Hurt

One finger control systems suit iDevices well and Orange Agenda have taken this to heart with their latest game.  The player only has one control; to stop our hero in his tracks at any moment.  The rest of the time the little guy moves forward through the oncoming dangers, oblivious to his potential peril.  It works surprisingly well and this one simple mechanic proves to be all that’s needed in order to create a successful method.

Using an isometric view for the map means that you usually get plenty of warning over the oncoming dangers.  Perspective changes do sometimes throw up the odd sudden surprise, though.  Timed presses are essential as flames shoot out at regular intervals, acid flies from one side of the path to another and saws move in and out of walls.  Prince of Persia-style spikes on the floor will often jut out just at the wrong moment while trapdoors can send the player to an early grave if they aren’t timed properly.

 

This Could Hurt

Luckily, the game is wrapped in a well-presented graphical environment which never makes it too difficult to judge the dangers.  A mix of beautiful backgrounds and well animated game area all work together to provide the perfect setup for each level.  

As the game progresses, power-ups can be earned from the acorns accumulated on successfully completing each level to help in the quest.  Slowing down the scenery, restarting and shields all help to make it easier in the tough later levels.  It’s always best to save up as much as possible as there are only a few available slots for power-ups, though more can be bought with further acorns.

 

This Could Hurt

This Could Hurt is far from a complicated game, but it doesn’t need to be. It shows what can be achieved by simplifying a control method and concentrating on intelligent level design and gameplay instead.

metacritic

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  • Sound: 8
  • Graphics: 8
  • Gameplay: 8
  • Longevity: 7

8

Great


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