It’s hard to define exactly which genre Don’t Move fits into. At first glance it looks like a standard old-school platformer, although unusually your game avatar lacks the ability to jump. In fact you’ll quickly find you lack the ability to do anything beyond take a few steps either left or right before exploding and respawning in the centre of the screen. In a way then it’s more of a puzzle game, as you try to work out what the hell you should be doing.
The name ‘Don’t Move’ initially appears to be sage advice then – if you don’t want to die then you should stay exactly where you are and don’t do anything. However as you try to test your boundaries and inevitably die numerous times, extra features start to be unlocked and more crucially some goals to aim for.
Deaths, time played, distance traveled and numerous other statistics all start to accumulate together and you’ll quickly find yourself earning a constant stream of experience points which in turn leads to you leveling up and earning a host of medals. Numerous trophies are also unlocked for performing a series of tasks – there’s no indication in advance of what they are but typically involve dying the same way a number of times or standing in a certain place for long enough. This constant barrage of rewards is a clever way of recognising how modern gamers get sucked into games, it may seem cynical but it certainly works.
Even as I realised how basic the game was I still felt compelled to keep on leveling up to see where the game would take me, it’s definitely addictive in the good way that the best flash or mobile games are. Aesthetically it also resembles a flash game with the extremely basic pixel graphics and sound effects that instantly reminded me of my old Atari. As a PC release it does ultimately feel too limited, after all it’s hard to recommend a game you can play just by holding a finger on a single key while your main attention is on checking your emails or watching TV.
Even without a clear idea of what you’re doing the game can be completed within a couple of hours and you won’t feel any urge to play it again. Yes it may cost less than a pound and might provide some brief entertainment to a bored office worker or commuter, but to anyone else it only exists as a mildly interesting curio.
That cheap price means you won’t feel you’ve wasted any money on it, but in the end it’s clearly a game that would be better suited as a cut-price app for mobile devices.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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