This Could Hurt App Review – Casual Platforming Takes An Isometric Turn

This Could Hurt ($0.99) is one of Chillingo’s latest releases and proves that the developer is still in the game. Developed by Orange Agenda, the game sees players guiding a rather lanky character through a course full of blades, flames, spikes and many other dangerous objects.

The game doesn’t require much from the player – just a single perfectly-timed tap. The character walks along the course and you have to stop him before he walks through a spinning blade, flame or anything else. For example, if there’s a hammer about to smash him into a squashed can, just tap and hold until the hammer retreats back up. Then he can continue going about his day as if nothing happened. I would like to do more with the game, but it’s clear that the simple controls are a main selling point considering levels have been designed to accommodate them optimally.

Every time you run into danger and forget to tap, or mistime your tap, the character glows red and you see a little minus number fade away. That means your health has been decreased. Very little health is taken away from you, despite being run over by a giant boulder, so each level is extremely easy. All you need is patience to wait for each danger to pass.

Following the completion of each level, a screen will appear detailing whether or not you fulfilled the requirements for multiple criteria. These include not taking any damage, completing a level in a certain amount of time and more – although they’re challenging, it seems the challenges have been geared towards more hardcore players. They’re extremely difficult to accomplish.

The character’s animation really annoys me. He doesn’t walk like a normal person – he’s half-jogging, half-walking in super-slow motion. Nevermind the huge flames or spinning blades of death – he still has a big smile on his face. The developers could have varied his emotions to react as he approaches each object. They could also make the game more realistic by changing the character as he’s squashed, burnt or cut by each object. For example, rather than glowing red after being hit by a hammer, he could be squashed downwards and walk funny for the next few steps.

To vary the gameplay, there are a few power-ups to help you along your way (which you probably don’t need seeing as you barely get a scratch). Slow-motion is the most common which slows everything down so it’s easier to pass by at the right time.

The levels are designed very well in This Could Hurt. Every object is placed cleverly so that you must stop and think about moving at the right time. Sometimes they even tease you by deliberately putting the exit beside the starting point, but the character moves away as he must complete the course.

The graphics are crisp and clear on my iPhone’s retina display. They suit the game well and enhance the casual feel of the title. I’m not a fan of isometric views, although it suited the game perfectly and is a breath of fresh air from the side-scrolling view used in traditional platformers.

The idea behind This Could Hurt is an excellent one, and the game is undoubtedly perfect for use on an iPhone or iPad, but it hasn’t been executed perfectly. Nonetheless, it’s still a worthy game for those who have patience and love one-tap controls with stunning cartoon visuals.

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Written by guest writer Daven Gomes.