VernX is a action puzzle game that is out for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The main objective of the game is to guide a number of particles through a maze, avoiding obstacles along the way, towards the end point. Simple objective and gameplay concept, yet the game is nonetheless fun. For the gameplay video, scroll right to the bottom to have a clearer idea of how the game works.
VernX requires the player to guide 50 particles form a start point to the end point. Each level has different number of bonus yellow particles which you may collect. You are required to transport a minimum 25 particles before you can complete the level. As the levels progress, more and more different obstacles will come into your way. For example there are green lasers of death, movable walls and so on. Every time your particle gets crushed or vaporized (the green lines are danger elements), they return to the start point. Make sure you plan a little ahead to avoid getting your particles destroyed.
The game current offer 3 different gameplay modes. The challenge, sandbox and X (I would say the really really challenging levels) modes. There are currently a total of 65 different levels (40 in the main challenge mode) and the developers claim that there will be more in future. The game progresses in a unlock the level kind of way. You complete level 1, level 2 is unlocked and so on. The sandbox mode doesn’t have any objective but you are given 200 particles to play with. Simply make them flow around the whole level and feel happy.
VernX utilizes the iPhone capabilities. I mean so far there has been many games that are out that uses a in-game dpad and so on. I have no problems with that but since the iPhone do have motion sensors (or is it called the accelerometer thing?) as well as a touch screen, why not make use of those? VernX answers the call and successfully make the most of the motion sensors. The controls of the game is simple, tilt wherever and the particles will lean towards that direction. For example you tilt to the right, the particles will flow towards the right.
I have to say that I am impress with the smoothness and fluidity of the controls. I mean it works fantastic and the direction of flow of the particles corresponds to the way the iPhone is tilt beautifully. It simply feels great and the sensitivity and movement of the particles are all well adjusted. They even give you the option to calibrate the starting position, making the game controls even more comfortable. There are additional elements that add a nice touch to the game for example the ability to pick songs from your iPod library to play and the different skins available (they change the colours of the shapes in each level). There is also a interactive tutorial which teaches you the gameplay elements. All this come together to make the game a complete package. The only thing the game lacks now is the sound effects. Very little but I guess it isn’t too much of a big deal. Besides you’ll probably want to hear your own music when playing such games.
The game is out now for $0.99 (soon to be $2.99 I think) and I say it is a good buy for the holidays. Though it is a little short with all it has to offer (The average time spent on each level can go up to maximum of 2 minutes for me. Do the simple math and 3 to 4 hours is all that the game has to offer for now), you never know when the developers might be giving out free additional levels. So start tilting and guide the particles to the ending point.