After the adventures that I had with Green Game: Timesplitter, I wasn’t totally enthused to leap back into the arms of iFun4All because, frankly, I didn’t have a great time. I don’t like relying on touch screen only, there wasn’t anything that kept me hooked and I thought the controls didn’t totally made sense. But things can change, and people can evolve, and gaming companies can always try to make something new, better or different. So I was pleasantly surprised to take on Red Game WIthout A Great Name and find that an older game somehow gave a better effect.
Red Game Without A Great Name has points for creativity in the title department, I can give that much. The game, again, doesn’t really have a plot, through the semi-creepy clockwork bird who acts as Green Game’s main vessel is here again. It’s so weird to know that this game is older, but it’s coming out second. Words like “sequel” and “successor” don’t totally make sense, as a result, but it really feels like Red Game took the shortcomings of Green Game and fixed them, not the other way around. This time, the bird needs to get to the cage and collect gears along the way, but time has nothing to do with it. Instead, the bird needs to dodge around obstacles and traps through the power of teleportation, which can move either way. The bird constantly is moving forward, but you can poof him to virtually any spot on the screen instantly. You still need to act fast, however, because the screen’s auto advance will still cut off your options at a pretty steady rate.
As you may have guessed from the name, Red Game also offers a predominantly red-hued atmosphere, which, subconsciously, leds a totally different feel to the game. Rather than being stuck in elements of creepy intrigue and scientific atmosphere, Red Game gives a whole effect of being very driven and active, keeping the players engaged in a way that almost feels primal. In spite of there being no violence or real action to speak of, the very way that the game is presented will drive players more, urge them to be more connected and more invested in their gameplay here than in Green Game. I don’t want to keep comparing the two, but they’re literally two games, made by the same company, starring the same character in the same kind of action, but with a few variants.
The teleportation mechanic is good and bad in terms of execution. On the one hand, I supremely enjoyed being able to drag my finger around the screen and simply have the bird show up wherever I needed him to go. Ease of how things went aside, it just felt more intuitive and somehow matched the way I imagine this monstrous creation to move much more closely. It didn’t diminish my quick thinking, however, and I still needed to keep my finger flexed and ready. Having said that, I will say that the puzzles feel much, much easier as a result. But it’s like saying that playing baseball against your friends is much easier than playing against a professional team: when the latter scenario feels supremely unfair, then maybe easier isn’t such a bad thing. This is where a touchscreen fixated game really hits its stride, and the puzzles become more relaxing and enjoyable, and you’re able to merrily chain multiple levels together. Despite having ten more levels, Red Game felt shorter than Green Game overall, mostly because I was able to really sit down and just PLAY.
The one shortcoming that I saw in Red Game is that the soundtrack isn’t nearly as good. Green Game, for everything else, did have a kickass soundtrack that bordered on calypso at times and felt all cool and jazzy. Red Game’s music is more almost kitschy, with a lot of tinny, upbeat notes that work but don’t feel as great as they could. I was perfectly happy to play Red Game for long durations while listening to my own soundtrack. Come to think of it, Red Game’s music reminds me a lot of what you might hear from TV shows in the early 70s, which is really driving in the right scenarios but feels wholly out of place when a bird is poofing around the screen.
Red Game Without A Great Name is a fun and confusing game, being the second Switch title published, but their first one created, and still being touch screen only. At least this game I can see the reasons why it didn’t get ported to big screen, because these controls would never work with the JoyCon. I’m still not totally on board, but, again, I understand better. In general, developers should be encouraged to bring their games onto the Switch as long as they’re willing to put in the work to make a good port, and iFun4All has done a solid job twice now. Who knows if the future will hold a third lightning strike? In any case, if you’re in the market for a game that’ll take a couple hours, has some replay value in terms of perfection (grabbing the gears can get tricky) and works perfectly for portable, personal play, Red Game Without A Great Name might be your jam.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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