Platform: iTouch (iPhone)
Publisher: Big Bucket Software
Developer: Big Bucket Software
Review by: Bill Jones
Ever have a day that feels like the sky is falling? The protagonist of The Incident has…literally. The businessman-looking character is just standing around one day when everything from road signs to cars start falling from the sky. The only thing to do is avoid getting hit and try to climb the ever-growing collection of items to get to the top and discover the source of The Incident.
That’s the premise of Big Bucket Software’s second Mac application and first game for iPhone and iPad, The Incident. The main character looks like a middle-aged businessman, in a white shirt and tie, maybe with a little scruff, who is just standing around minding his own business when the sky starts falling.
Big Bucket Software makes the simplicity of its controls known by transitioning right from the opening cutscene into gameplay with little instruction. Something is ready to fall on the character, and by instinct we tilt the iPhone and he moves out of its way. Another thing falls, we step the other direction, and all of a sudden it’s on.
But it quickly becomes apparent that just running left and right isn’t going to cut it. As the screen becomes more and more cluttered with objects, the player can be covered in the shifting pile of rubble, or he can push objects (by simply walking into them) and jump, by tapping on the screen.
So then the object of the game becomes two-fold. The first part is to avoid getting bonked on the head with falling objects. The second is to maneuver properly to continually clime them. In the first of seven stages, when the player reaches a height of 25 meters, he passes the level. The second level, however, goes from 25 meters to 100 meters, and along the way there are checkpoints, where the player can resume if the character dies.
Players are given three life bars to start, and every time the character is hit, one is taken away. More can be earned, though, through health pack pickups (items float by on balloons or parachutes). By collecting other objects, the player can also earn extra lives, but later on, detrimental pickups will set the gamer back. Collecting also provides some replay value after players simply beat the seven core levels.
At its core, The Incident feels like one of the infinite jumping or survival games, in the vein of Doodle Jump, but its concept and execution feel so different that it’s really in a genre all its own. It will also please retro fans that the art style comes straight out of the 8-bit era, and a cool chiptune soundtrack complements it. A Trophy Room helps round things out.
Ultimately, The Incident is a relatively quick game, but at a $1.99 price point its content feels fair. And any gamer worth his salt would gladly have quality over quantity any day. The Incident brings that quality. It’s a game filled with charm, exceptionally executed for the casual market and the iPhone platform. It keeps the controls simple, the gameplay addicting, and the experience nice and brief. The Incident is a must buy.
For more info, http://bigbucketsoftware.com/theincident
Pads & Panels received a redemption code for the game courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.