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Game Review: Zero Age

Game Review: Zero Age
4.5
Game Name: Zero Age
Platforms: iOS (Ipad 2 or newer only)
Publisher(s): Hosni Auji / Unreal Technology
Developer(s): Majd Aker and Hosni Auji
ESRB Rating: 9+ (Mild Cartoon Violence)

ZABanner_V_largeZero Age is an indie 3D puzzle adventure game that takes place in a atmospheric geometric world where in you acquire “beam” powers to master. These powers are fundamental to use in order to solve challenging puzzles as you journey through the world known as Zero Age.

The game starts off with simple tutorial basics on how to play the game and the basis of the story-line. Players must navigate their hooded character to the end of each level (by tapping where you want to go), as indicated by a flashing red beam. This task could be as simple as tapping on the endpoint. As you advance in levels, reaching the end of each level will require some thinking as you will need to manipulate blocks in your path to assist you to the goal.  Many of the blocks you encounter will be marked depending on a set of rules determined by the game. Some of the blocks are limited to horizontal or vertical movement, or may emit a ghost block when stimulated by the player selecting a color based trigger.  Due to these rules, it can sometimes be very frustrating to manipulate the blocks to complete the puzzle. Luckily, players have the ability to stack blocks atop of each other in order to gain height or use to shield from deadly laser beams.

The extra bonus with this game is that they offer a sandbox mode so that a player can get a better understanding of their abilities and to practice the techniques of swiping to enforce different beam powers.

ZA_05The game uses very soulful piano music in the background, which complements the calmness of the gaming environment and the player experience.

One annoyance in this game is the dramatic framing of the game-play, which hides some of the “solution” at times or even a danger for the player. Luckily, a camera angle swapping feature is available on some levels to allow for view of the puzzle from a different angle.  Also, constructing the most basic of things such as stairs can require a lot of intense thinking and planning. Some of the puzzles combine many different beam challenges and may leave a player stumped for hours.

Zero Age has varies elements that reflect references to many predecessor games including Fez, Portal, Monument Valley and even Portal.  Through these similarities,  Zero Age seems to give the player a new boldness in challenges and graphical design that will entice any serious iPad gaming fan to check out.
Overall I enjoyed this game. It provides endless hours of entertainment for gamers like myself, who like a mental challenge or who are even looking for a game that is easy going on the senses.

Zero Age is available for $2.99 USD on the App Store. (note: game requires iOS 6.0 or later).

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Check out the official game play trailer:

 

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