Neil Rajah (Free) ziggy’s games
Dearest readers, you may recall that back on May 1st I’d reviewed this game already, and for lack of a more apt summary, panned it. It was buggy, had crashing issues, and the advertising was, on my device anyways, a complete and utter gamebreaker. It did not take long for Ziggy’s Games to find my review, read it, and get in touch with me about it; rather than being upset that I threw his app under the bus, he wanted my input on what could be done to make the game better… thus earning my utmost respect. Despite a very rough day for Neil Rajah (link to his blog from that day), we communicated through his blog and through e-mail, he accepted my criticism with earnest humility, and set himself about making the changes needed to make his game a success. This is the review of the results of those efforts, one update grown up from the previous build of Neil Rajah.
Swarm has been made opt-in, earning Ziggy’s his own DoingItRight Badge.
This new version has proved to be a step up from the previous incarnations of Neil Rajah, execution-wise. The game now runs nearly flawlessly. I literally played through all 40 levels in one 3 1/2 hour session on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Zero crashes, zero strange glitches… I think the only thing I can note was an occasional mild lag. Ziggy has spaced out the interstitial ads (Had to be defined to me at the time; means the ‘ads that show between levels’) to be less frequent and have a large red ‘Skip’ button that always works. These improvements alone have made this a worthwhile game to try out for the low cost of free – Hey, I should tell you about the game itself, now that I can!
Neil Rajah is a sidescrolling hop-til-you-drop adventure of collecting gems, hopping holes in the world, spikes, chucking knives at nasties, and keeping to the high ground. You’ll barrel through level after level of both simple and complex jumping and knife-chucking reflex testers, going for that high score. Playing the game is easy; jump, hold jump to jump higher, or throw knives. Getting that high score can be a test of even the most grandmotherly of patience. During the toughest levels, resist the urge to smash your phone against the nearest wall.
As I mentioned, I played through all 40 levels. After a while it became a memory game more than anything else; trial and error became more centric to the strategy than snap-button mashing. The gems you collect aren’t just for the high scores – you can use them to power-up your runner, getting him more powerful weapons and higher resilience – these are pivotal for surviving through the later levels.
This game is more fun, but I still have some qualms with it that the developer has already said he’d like to address. Aside from the opening intro movie, there’s no additional plot to keep you engaged through the increasingly monotonous levels; nothing to really drive you forward to see what happens next. The music and art, while good, could use a little more variety. There are three styles of levels – light outside, dark outside, and dark so you can’t see too far ahead of you – and they could use more variety. Despite the games flaws, I’m still excited to have it installed to see what Ziggy’s Games does next with it; we’d discussed new power-ups and level styles a little bit, and from these conversations I can see that this is a dev who really wants to make the game work.
THE NEW TL;DR:
- I now recommend that you give this game a try and see if you like it. Great job cleaning up the problems, Ziggy’s Games.
- The game still needs something more, but has room to grow, and a motivated developer.
- Ads are easy to skip and ignore, but click ‘em a few times to support this dev!
- This game is also available in the Nook store for a small fee.
- LEVEL 28 ARRRRRRRGHGHGHHGHG ATALKWJALIFM$@N$#T@IC@N@) N@$