GAME OF THE DAY
In a race against gravity there can only be one winner.
Hesitation means death! What makes Spike City, Nitrome’s pixel-art puzzler, so intense is the rising red sea which chases you up the screen. Accompanied by bouncy retro music, your little spike-headed character must race upwards against gravity, climbing through a tower littered with traps.
One-way passages, conveyor belts, locks; figuring out how to bounce to the next level before the floor turns to jagged lava is the challenge.
And there’s no respite. You’re continually flicking to send your hero upwards, hurtling between blocks. With luck, he’ll stick to the ceiling. Now swipe him left or right onto a catwalk before gravity pulls him down to certain death. A button opens the way through to the next mechanical lift? Sure, hold him there until it’s activated. Fingers crossed there isn’t a troupe of waddling villains lurking above.
You can collect coins as you go (if you have the time) and you’ll exchange these for dozens of cosmetic upgrades. More usefully there are four upgradeable power-ups. A magnet attracts cash while you hurtle by, a coin doubler brings you more income, a shield protects you from damage, and a rocket boosts you higher. Once purchased these appear in the level when you need them.
Still, they’re no substitute for a fast finger. Your progress is measured in metres, and the object is to keep on beating your previous best. The basic swipe controls fool you into thinking this platformer will be easy – but it’s gloriously relentless.