By Zatheera, 17 February 2017
The abstract physics platformer iO is developed by Gamious’s ‘Team Extra’. It involves using your physics knowledge and basic logic skills to solve puzzles in interesting ways. Your aim is to manipulate the size of a matter defying ball to make your way through various puzzles and reach the green portal home at the end of the tunnel while keeping in mind that by changing the ball’s size, it’s weight and speed are affected.
At the time of this review, it has about 10 tutorial levels, 150 original levels and 75 “Irresistible” levels. Their difficulty varies within each pack and you’re progressively faced with new challenges. Some of these challenges are quite simplistic, while others are far more difficult than they appear.
I had expected to get a bit frustrated if I found a level I had a hard time beating, but I didn’t, even when I was itching to hit the “Skip” button. I’m not sure if it was because it was fun to shrink and grow the ball or the relaxing soundtrack that kept me calm, but either way, I didn’t seem to mind at all.
The time it takes you to complete the levels is tracked and given a score from Bronze, Silver to Gold, which means there’s incentive to go back and replay previous levels to get a better score. In essence, you get to challenge your previous self’s IQ, reflexes and hand-eye coordination each time you go to better your score and reach for that illustrious Gold medal.
The graphics are simple, so there’s not much to distract you from your task of getting your size shifting ball (which reminds me of a yoyo from my childhood) to the green beacon portal at the end of the tunnel. The controls are straightforward and you get the feel of them quite quickly. It’s pretty much your left stick is for your spin direction and your right controls your size if you’re using a controller.
My only gripe would be that your camera view sometimes changes drastically depending on the size of the ball, making some calculations difficult, and causing me to wish it would give me an additional camera view in one corner so I could see where I went wrong while shooting the ball into space and whether I’d even gotten remotely close to my goal or not.
There’s no storyline to follow, which means you can pick it up and put it down at any time without worry that you’ll be lost in regards to where you were last. You can skip levels if you choose and play whichever one you want whenever you want, or just do each one in succession, it’s up to you. This is far better than bashing your ‘ball’ against a red wall repeatedly because you can’t get that one jump juuuuust right.
It is single player and perfect to play when you’re just wanting to sit back, relax while listening to a soothing soundtrack and exercise your mind. I tested it on PS4 with it’s dual stick, but I feel that it would be an optimal game to play on something more mobile. It would be ideal for people that take transit and want something fun to do while on route.
You can enjoy iO on almost any platform you like and it is purchasable in many ways, such as the App Store, Google Play, Xbox One, PS Vita, PS4, OUYA, the Windows Store or on any Windows phone. It’s also sold for about $2.99, so it’s about the price of a Tim Horton’s breakfast wrap (I may or may not have had one of those the morning I started writing this review. PS, they are delicious).
This is a well made affordable gem for anyone that enjoys putting their mind to the test. It’s family friendly, so it’s easily a game you can hand off to anyone to keep them occupied without worrying about the content being inappropriate, whether it be your grandmother or a child that needs a distraction at the doctor’s office. In the end, it’s reasonably priced at $2.99 and worth picking up (more so on mobile) for anyone that likes to find ways of fitting into any situation.