Wave Trip is a bizarre, beautiful blend between a side-scrolling shooter (like Jetpack Joyride), and a rhythm-building game (like Sound Shapes). As you'd expect from an indie game with such quality heritage, everything about Wave Trip is both easy to understand yet frustrating to truly master. We assumed it would be a relaxing glide through a series of pastel coloured worlds, pleasing on the eye and ear; Sunday afternoon gaming... Instead, it's a challenging beast that requires all your attention to tame.
Controls are simple enough. Tap and hold the right of the screen to make your triangular spaceship thingy float to the top. Let go, and it drops to the bottom. As the screen scrolls towards you, various objects fly through the space and you need to either dodge or collect them. Orange items make your spaceship shoot out little bullets that free 'friends' trapped in bubbles, while blue objects multiply your score. Hey, we said it was simple - not that it makes sense.
Each time you collect something you build a musical tune, which simmers pleasingly in the background. It sounds like the kind of minimal background noise you'd hear in a posh bar that sells bottles of Grolsch for £8. Hit a purple object, and the record skips as your flow is interrupted. Best to avoid the purple ones, eh. You can hit the left of the screen to flash up a shield, but it only lasts a second, so is best saved for emergencies.
That's about it. The true skill comes from keeping your craft steady, and working out how and when to soar to the top of the screen or dive to the bottom of it in search of delicious items. It's incredibly frustrating at first, and the hi-scores of other users - which show up at the start of each stage - will make your initial scores seem dreadful. Stick with it, though, because a decent run feels incredibly rewarding.
There are create and share options too, so you can build levels and send them to friends. Thanks to the simple structure of the game, it's easy to build your own level, but tough to make it perfectly balanced. As with the main game - it looks easy until you try it, but the rewards are there for patient players...
An App Store curiosity that blends two genres into something compelling yet occasionally frustrating. The bizarre concept will deter some, but the rhythm-action crowd will love it.
- Looks and sounds beautiful
- Has a neat creation mode
- Small download, reasonably cheap
- Tough to properly control
- Offers few long-term rewards