When it comes to playing games on my iPad, I’m normally looking for one of two things.
- Something entertaining and fun that’ll amuse me for a few minutes, perhaps longer if it’s really good!
- A game that’s immersive and really gets me involved, something to engage my mind for a longer period of time and provide a good challenge.
Both of these types of games have their strengths and weaknesses, I’m not going to open up Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery if I only have 5 minutes to kill, that’s missing the point entirely, I’d much rather dive headfirst into something that’ll give me a quick fix!
Pod Odyssey is a game that definitely comes under the first definition, but offers a depth of detail and enjoyment that is refreshing in the bloated occasional game category. Most exciting of all, you can easily get your hands on it – we have a competition this week in which we’re giving away 25 copies of the game, check it out and get involved!
Put on your spacesuit and grab your helmet!
First impressions are a very important thing for occasional games such as Pod Odyssey, they dictate whether you’ll actually pick it up and give it a second go. The good news here is that Pod Odyssey makes a great first impression!
This is largely due to the supreme attention to detail that has gone into every aspect of the game – the art and illustration is gorgeous, while the music works beautifully to set the scene. The exotic alien landscapes and simple lines of text help to draw you into the concept and work to build some tension into the game, you begin to want to survive…
3, 2, 1…
Some games fail to draw you in because they’re not entertaining, but the greater failing of a game is not providing you with any sense of meaning. Pod Odyssey manages to quickly give you a sense of meaning and direction in the game, you’re fighting for survival, to escape.
While this might seem trivial, and in some senses it is, it’s also an important component of what makes a game like this work; it engages more of your imagination.
Another vital component in making a game like Pod Odyssey work is, simply put, the gameplay. It’s got to feel fun to play!
Is It Fun?
The thing that most struck me on opening up Pod Odyssey for the first time was how enjoyable the game mechanics were! Flying the little spaceship is a delight, the controls perfectly encapsulating everything that is great about playing games on the iPad.
I’d recommend using the tilt controls, but head into the settings and calibrate them before you start! Simply put you iPad as near flat as you’d like to use it and hit calibrate, adjust if necessary.
The depth of perspective created by the three dimensional nature of the objects, and the use of a maze set over a more distant background, works to make an enjoyable gameplay experience. The precision needed to complete certain tasks, combined with the jeopardy created by the ever-present missile-shooting robots, makes for a rather addictive game!
The difficulty of the game is pretty much spot-on, with the early levels easing you into the concept while the later levels provide you with a challenge that’s certainly not easy to overcome on first try!
The aim of Pod Odyssey is to make use of your galactic pilot skills to guide a lost space POD through a series of jagged cosmic mazes, evil missile-shooting robots, and homing space spiders. All while collecting energy, acquiring batteries, and finding weapons and shields to aid your journey home!
There are currently three different worlds to unlock, each consisting of nine levels. There are always two objectives for a level:
- A primary one, that’s mandatory if you are to progress onwards.
- A bonus one, you don’t need to complete it to move on but it gets you 2 stars for the level.
One of the aspects of the game that I enjoyed the most was the nature of the tilting controls. I love the feel of the motion and the precision that’s needed to complete certain tasks – it’s incredibly satisfying when you successfully navigate your way through a maze of stationary and moving objects!
Even if you’re not a huge space fan, there’s a lot to enjoy in Pod Odyssey – the gameplay is great but not overly demanding, and the artistic design has universal appeal. Conversely, for those of us who used to dream of being astronauts there’s a great deal to get on board with. I fit into this camp, and still can’t believe there are people who haven’t seen Star Wars…
The bleeps and bloops of the sound effects are perfect, while the music only adds to the creation of tension and development of story, however simple it may be. It’s definitely worth a look, especially because it has some independent developers behind it who are looking to develop it as time goes on – get in touch with them if you have any great ideas, I know they’d love to hear from you!
Pod Odyssey is a universal game that currently goes for a mere $0.99 in the App Store, better than that though is the fact that we currently have a competition running in which you can win one of 25 copies of the game – get involved here!