Dec 20, 2010

Gish Reloaded

Gish Reloaded is a reprise of a game called Gish in which you are a giant, black ball of tar moving from level to level. It's a recent release from HandyGames, a favorite publisher of mine, as an ad supported game with a paid version available as well. The basic plot starts with Gimp tar-knapping Gish's tar kiddies. Rescue is the name of the game. Gish, as a ball of tar, also has several 'abilities' such as becoming more liquidic (making it easier to slide through smaller holes) and excessive stickiness (allowing him to more readily climb walls). So, you're goal is to work your way through the levels and rescue the family. And, as with all of these kinds of games, there's plenty of other stuff to accumulate along the way.

The graphics are certainly worthy and the sound effects and controls are all on par with a Handy release. Controls take full advantage of Android's accelerometer and will have you flipping your phone all around to navigate the levels of this game. The touch screen is used to toggle modes and make Gish stickier or what not. The game also allows you to download additional levels although I don't see a level editor. I suspect the bulk of your play will be with the Campaign mode.

So, level editor? The level editor can be downloaded as a standalone program from What I can't easily tell is what platform it's for. My guess is Windows as it's a .zip file with an .exe file in, but there's also a .jar file in there so maybe it's done in Java and is consequently cross-platform. The rest will be left as an exercise for the budding level editor. What's nice is that there are also MANY levels already available for download on Whether they're any good is another question.

qrcodeAll isn't peaches and cream, though. From my experience with the first few levels from the included campaign my general feeling was more so that the game was playing me. Sure, I was moving my device around and changing modes to scale walls and such, but never did I get that "a-ha" moment that turns a decent game into a gem. This is no Super Mario Brothers 3. It felt much more like I was just following along selecting the correct, obvious mode to do what I needed to do while occasionally falling into a secret door. If I'm going to invest time in working my way through a series of levels then I was to feel like I'm actually accomplishing something. As is, despite the solid game engine I can't give this one more than 4/5 stars. I'm also left unsure as to whether better level design would fix things, or is the slow moving tar ball that grates on me making is less desirable to continue play.

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