Oct 27, 2010


OrangePixel has been making pretty, little Android games for quite some time. I still like their Mini Plane and haven't tried many of their other titles, but Gulp! looked interesting. And I like interesting.

In Gulp! you play the role of a little guy at the bottom of the screen with a really long tongue. Perhaps it's supposed to be a frog... that I don't know. Yummies (and bonus crates) fall from the sky and you have to zap them with that tongue of yours before they get to the bottom of the screen. The bottom of the screen is divided into pieces of flooring and if anything hits it then that segment is destroyed. If you eliminate the Yummy before it gets to the bottom then a piece of food falls and you can pick it up for points. Those crates I mentioned can also be caught with your tongue to activate various power-ups. Finally, should anything hit you then it's game over in the most immediate sense.

The graphics for the game are pretty good as is the audio. Nothing steller, but better than average. The controls are simple. Tilt left or right to move. Touch left or right of your little guy and out comes the tongue at roughly a 45 degree angle. The challenge is in lining up those shots as you have no control over the angle. Fortunately, as the tongue extends and retracts all that has to happen is for the end of the tongue to come in contact with an enemy.

At first I really didn't like this game. It felt clunky to control. After playing it and trying to give it a chance I've warmed up a bit and would say it's a little above average. First, my biggest issue is that I don't really like the controls. They feel awkward. But then, after playing for a little while coupled with the game using a portrait perspective I found that my wrist started to hurt. Most games that use the accelerometer for tilt control tend to take on a landscape perspective so that I use both hands to tilt. The portrait mode used here lends itself to having me hold my phone with one hand and use one wrist to tilt ultimately leading to discomfort. Keep a bottle of Tylenol on standby. I really think that using landscape mode (and yes, things wouldn't be able to fall as far visually) would have been a big improvement. Next, after playing for a bit and being annoyed with the angular firing mechanism I realized staying in one place and waiting for the enemies to come to me was a good strategy. It's not perfect as waiting in one place doesn't give you enough time to pick up much of the dropped food and sometimes a Yummy will descend in my column, but it improved my performance. Finally, I don't really feel like I'm playing for anything other than a number. Ok, there are different levels with different background and such, but I can't say that I'm motivated to advance. That said, playing for a number isn't all bad... it just classifies this as more of an old school arcade game.

In conclusion, Gulp! comes down to being a take on the Space Invaders/Galaxian genre with angular firing and the addition of picking up dropped objects. In fact, it reminded me of an old Atari computer game I wrote 25 years ago with the 45 degree shooting element where space birds would fall and the player would have to pick them up. My game stank, though. This one is good, just not great. 3.5/5 stars. Take a look at the video below for more details.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reviewing our game ;) To be honest, we know this game is good but is missing or lacking some things.. your review clears up some problems gamers might have had with it, and as with all our games we try to improve the game with new updates..

    perhaps we should just try a landscape version to see how that plays for the next update!