RETRY is the latest game from Rovio. The game has often been mistakenly been compared to Flappy Bird, despite the two having very little in common.
RETRY puts you in the cockpit of an out of control airplane that you have to guide through a series of obstacles to reach the finish line. Everything about the game suggests that it’s going to be difficult, so let’s see how difficult it really is.
RETRY is a 2D side scrolling game. You are in control of a plane and you have to tap the screen to fly upwards while it automatically movies forward. The longer you press and hold on the screen, the harder the nose will point up until it eventually starts doing loop the loops. You have to be very judicious with the control to ensure the plane keeps going in the right direction.
Your main opponent in this game is the terrain. Touching the plane anywhere causes instant death. You have to angle the plane just right to avoid that steep hill and it involves more than just pressing and holding the screen as that would just cause the plane to loop. You have to dial in just enough lift, then back off, the provide some more lift, then back off, and continue doing this till you are over the hill.
Going down is just as hard, as you need to know when to lift off and cause the plane to drift down on its and then lifting up just in time to avoid hitting the bottom. Some drops are straight 90 degree down a narrow opening, in which case you first need to lift the plane till its pointing straight up and then lift off and let it fall straight down on its own.
Mastering the plane’s flight pattern is the real challenge in the game. Once you get a grip on that the game becomes a bit easier.
Along with dodging the obstacles, you also have to collect coins in the levels. There are several of them scattered in a level and most of them are hard to reach. Some actually require you to loop the plane backwards to get to the coin, without hitting anything else. If you hit something, the coins that you collected are also lost when you restart.
The coins are used for the checkpoints in the game. Every level has multiple checkpoints that require one coin. After that, hitting the Retry button after dying loads the game from that point. There aren’t too many coins in a level and most of them are too hard to get to without dying along the way, so you have to skip saving at a few checkpoints. If you have no coins but still want to save then the game offers an option to watch an ad, which plays a short video of one of Rovio’s games, and then it saves that checkpoint.
You can just stop at the checkpoint and not save the game there. The reason to do this is that the game saves all the coins you have collected so far, so even if you die later, you won’t have to collect those coins again. The check points are the only places where you can stop, otherwise the plane keeps moving forward automatically.
Another thing to collect in a game are silver nuts. These are much rarer than the coins and are even harder to reach. The nuts are required for purchasing one of the three special abilities in the game. One gives the plan extra lives, so you can hit something and not die immediately. One slows down time until the next check point, which makes it easier to make some of those trickier turns. The third one turns you into a coin magnet.
Each level has three stars you can earn, which are then used to unlock more levels. The stars are awarded for things like completing a level, finishing the level under a certain number of restarts and crashes, finishing the level under a certain distance, etc. As the levels get tougher, it gets harder and harder to meet some of these requirements. For example, one level had a requirement for 15 restarts for a level for one of the stars, and I ended up restarting 75 times before I could complete it. It’s also hard to meet the distance requirement sometimes, unless you stay right on course without wavering.
When you die, you can choose to Retry or Restart. Retry will restart the game from the last check point, but counts as one retry in your game stats, which could affect your stars. Restart will start the game from the beginning but also clears all your stats, such as all of the previous restarts and distance covered.
The game is tough but not obnoxiously difficult. This is where I find the comparisons to Flappy Bird unwarranted. Flappy Bird was a one trick pony, and was difficult just for the sake of it. RETRY is really really tough but in a challenging, entertaining way, not in the mindless Flappy Bird way.
There is some IAP in the game. You can trade real cash to purchase coins and nuts. I never really found any reason to do this. You will find enough coins in a level so you always have a few at hand and you shouldn’t be saving at each and every checkpoint anyway. As for the nuts, I never really used any of them. The game also occasionally puts a timer on certain levels that needs to expire before you can play that level but these levels are optional and you can skip right past to play other levels. That’s a shocking amount of sensibility for a Rovio game.
Graphics and Sound
RETRY has retro 2D 8-bit graphics. I’ve realized this is not to everyone’s taste but it looks pretty nice to me. To go with the visuals, the game also has old-school chiptune soundtrack that’s also kinda nice, if a bit repetitive.
RETRY is NOT a Flappy Bird clone. The gameplay is far more sophisticated than that and more importantly, it’s actually fun. This is pretty much the only game that I’ve played since it came out and many a times I wanted to stop playing but couldn’t because it’s that addictive. And for a free game, the in-app purchasing is not in your face, the game doesn’t pull obnoxious stunts like making you wait before you can play further or slap ads everywhere. Then again, this is not made by the same division at Rovio that makes Angry Birds games, and it shows.
I highly recommend you give this game a try, regardless of whether it’s made by Rovio or you think it’s a Flappy Bird clone.
Pros: Challenging and highly additive gameplay
Cons: Could have used a bit more variety in background music
Download: iOS | Android