Posted in: Android, Featured, Game Reviews, Gaming, iOS

‘Headless’ for iOS and Android game review

One of the most fun category of games on the mobile platform is endless runners. While these may be deemed too simple on consoles or on the PC, their minimal control system makes them ideal for the touchscreen-based devices, not to mention they have proven to be enormously addictive and great for quick playthroughs when you have some time to spare.

Some great examples would be the many variations of Temple Run, Canabalt, Jetpack Joyride and several other games inspired from these. Today we will be looking at one called Headless that literally takes the saying ‘running around like a headless chicken’ and makes an endless running game out of it. Let’s see if it’s more than just a clever concept.

Title
Headless
Developer
Gila Schmid
Platform
iOS
Android
Release Date
October 2013
October 2013
Content rating
9+
Medium Maturity
Size
11MB
15.2MB
Price
$0.99

Gameplay

In Headless, you are in control of a headless chicken. The chicken runs automatically and you have to tap on the screen to jump. You can also tilt the device sideways to make the chicken move forward and backward on the screen. This comes in handy while dodging some obstacles or collecting objects. Moreover, if you take the chicken near the right edge of the screen, you enter a boost zone where you get 2x the points but you have very little time and space to dodge obstacles.

Because it is a chicken, it is capable of flight so you can tap repeatedly to fly. Choosing when and for how long to fly is how you survive in this game.

But there is a bit of a twist. Unlike most running game, the chicken in this game is constantly losing health, which is a rather annoying side effect of being decapitated. So you have to collect the blood packets as you run before the bar at the bottom of the screen runs out. Running into obstacles in this game doesn’t kill you outright; it just drains your health a bit. Naturally then, if you bump into them too often or when you’re running low then you end up dying.

So then how fun is this game? Honestly, it never really gripped me as some of the other endless running games out there. It is fun and fairly challenging but the pacing is a bit slow so it doesn’t quite get your pulse racing like some other games. Eventually the obstacles increase and it gets harder to avoid them but the game still runs at a relatively relaxed pace so you’re not quite looking forward to the next round as you’d want to.

Graphics and Sound

The visual design of Headless is quite nice. In fact, the visuals are what enticed me to try out the game more than the gameplay itself. The graphics have a hand drawn look (and they probably are) and the animations are really nice. I particularly liked the way the red blood stands out against the grayscale background. Subtle things such as the way the blood keeps spurting out of the chickens severed neck, the chickens flight and the animation for electrocution are all amusing and nicely done. Visually, the game looks great and what entices to you to keep playing it.

The sound is also quite decent. The music reminded me of old cartoons, with similar sound effects thrown in for good measure. All this works quite well with the cartoony visuals of the game.

Verdict

On the surface, Headless looked like just another endless running game but the creators have put in enough gameplay elements that set it apart from the crowd. The game looks good great too and is one of the prettier 2D games I’ve seen. The game is not as exciting as I’d have liked it to be thanks to the slower pacing. For the price, Headless is quite a good game overall but I wish it was a bit more fun.

Rating: 7/10
Pros: Simple and intuitive gameplay, great visual design and animations
Cons: Faster pacing could have made it bit more fun

Download: iPhoneiPadAndroid

Headless was reviewed on an LG G2.

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