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‘Pivvot’ for iOS game review

Pivvot is a brand new game for iOS from developer Whitaker Trebella. The game focuses on minimal interaction with dead simple controls and delivers the complications through some seriously challenging gameplay. Add to that minimal visuals and a funky soundtrack and we may have a recipe for success. Let’s see how the game is in practice.

Title
Pivvot
Developer
Whitaker Trebella
Platform
iOS
Release Date
August 1, 2013
Content Reating
4+
Size
48.7MB
Price
$2.99

Note: An Android version of the game is in development.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Pivvot reminds me a lot of Super Hexagon. You have a dot that pivots around a joint that constantly moves along a curve. As you move along, you come across several obstacles and to avoid them you have to tap on the left and right side of the screen to pivot the dot around its joint. This brings back memories of Super Hexagon where you have to move sideways by tapping on the screen to avoid obstacles.

The game has five modes. In the first mode named Voyage, you move along the curve and come across several obstacles. The obstacles keep appearing at random and every once in a while the game will introduce a new obstacle. When a new obstacle is being introduced, the screen turns white and the music turns down for a while. The game will present the new obstacle several times in this mode so you can figure out the right way to avoid it and get enough practice at it. Then the game exits this mode and the new obstacle is added to the mix of existing obstacles.

Touching any obstacle results in death but in Voyage mode the game just restarts from a nearby checkpoint instead of right from the start. The aim of this mode is to get you through all the obstacles so that you are ready for the next mode.

The next mode is Endless. It’s called Endless because, well, it’s endless. To complete this mode, you have to survive for 100 seconds through all the obstacles that were introduced in the Voyage mode. Reaching 100 seconds completes the level but for the sake of posterity you can continue playing as long as you can to get a high score that you can then brag about.

The next two modes are Expert Voyage and Expert Endless, which as you can guess are advanced versions of the first two modes. Expert Voyage introduces additional, more intricate obstacles and then you have to dodge all of them against the clock in Expert Endless mode. Both these modes are unlocked after finishing the first two modes.

The last, and by far the most ridiculous mode of them all, is the aptly named Berserk. It’s called Berserk because that’s how you have to be in order to play this mode. The Expert Endless mode is fairly difficult and had me spend a long time to complete it but it’s got nothing on this one. Never mind 100 seconds; even if you survive for 10 seconds in this mode you should be eligible for some sort of a medal. The game moves at an absolutely breakneck speed and unless you have OD’d on an entire carton of Red Bull you’re going to have a hard time understanding what’s going on.

However, if like me you are a fan of games that require precision and quick responses you are going to have an absolute blast with this mode. Despite dying every few seconds I found myself mashing the replay button to get back to playing until I managed to get a double digit score and even then I had to tear myself away from the game in order to write this review. The last time I had this much fun was while playing one of the insanely fast modes in Super Hexagon and Pivvot manages to match that madness without coming across as a rip-off.

As exciting as the Berserk mode is, it comes a bit too soon. It would have been nice if there were a mode or two between Expert Endless and Berserk mode as the difference between the two is quite stark and you feel like you are thrown in the deep end of the pool a bit too quickly. Having a couple more modes would have also helped in increasing the longevity of the game.

Graphics and Sound

Pivvot is a 2D game that relies on simple geometric shapes to deliver the thrills. Color plays a major role here and although it doesn’t change at the same schizophrenic rate as in Super Hexagon the subtle changes help convey a change in pace and mode. I also like the way the game displays the time in the background instead of somewhere in the corner so you can see it easily without taking your eyes away from the action. Overall, the game looks very pretty and if you have an iPad with Retina display it is going to look absolutely gorgeous despite its minimal nature.

The sound is another great part about the game. Pivvot follows the trend of recent games by having a kickass soundtrack that form an integral part of the game’s experience. The soundtrack is upbeat and just plain cool and will have you tapping your feet while your thumbs tap on the screen. The best part is, you can download it for free from the developer’s Bandcamp page.

Verdict

Pivvot is one of the best games available on iOS. The gameplay is simple but utterly exciting and will have you playing again and again till you master the level and get a high score. The initial modes are easy enough to give less agile players a chance to cut their teeth and the Berserk mode will have speed junkies grinning from ear to ear. Pivvot is one of those rare games that truly push your brain to the edge to gain that split second advantage that decides how long you can survive. If you enjoy testing your reflexes, you are going to love this game.

Rating: 9/10
Pros: Exciting gameplay, simple controls, attractive visuals, superb soundtrack
Cons: Could have used a couple more modes

App Store

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