Game Reviews

Walkabout Review: A new take on a classic game that works well.

Cute brain-aching fun designed to stretch the little grey cells of the casual puzzle gamer. Sadly not a game based on the classic 1971 Jenny Agutter movie, Walkabout, it does have a spiritual predecessor from decades past.

Title: Walkabout | Developer: Base 2 | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 Player | Version: 2.5.9 | Size: 4.8M | Price: Free (Lite) / $1.59 (Full)

Back in the medieval era of videogames, when computer game music was all chiptune raves and you were lucky if you got a bit of parallax scrolling with your shooter, there was a game called Sensitive for the Commodore 64. The player had to navigate a slightly bland maze of squares that fell away from you as you passed over them while catchy tunes squelched away in the background. It was simple and incredibly addictive. Can Walkabout manage to do the same?

Gameplay

In Walkabout your job is to guide your big-headed heroine, Queenie, around a maze and collect all of the magic stars, with the floor falling away after you pass over it.

It’s frustratingly easy to find yourself in a dead-end and restarting – forward planning is definitely required – but although the levels do occasionally become a little fiendish, the difficulty curve was satisfying, with few bottlenecks or suddenly easy levels to spoil your fun.

To add an extra challenge, some of the mazes are multi-level, some feature multiple characters and some even have squares that must be passed over in a specific order. The game may be set in a verdant kingdom, but finishing all 64 levels is certainly no walk in the park.

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Graphics & Sound

The cutesy pastoral appearance is simple, colourful and entirely appropriate to the genre. The angled viewpoint occasionally makes is difficult to see what you’re meant to be doing, though I suspect that may be the intention on some levels.

The sound is more than a little reminiscent of the effects and victory tunes found in certain Mario games and suits the cutesy graphics very well.

Controls & Presentation

Straightforward controls are always spot-on, but only adequate presentation: some of the usual Android menu frustrations remains.

Overall

Walkabout does almost exactly what it sets out to do and succeeds very well on its own terms – a satisfying, brain-teasing puzzler for those of us who need games they can play for just a few minutes at a time. If you like the first couple of levels of the Lite version, it is worth getting the full paid-for game as it features an extra forty levels.

Rating: 4/5

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