Another mobile one for you: it’s a surprisingly similar premise to the previous title, E.V.A.L. as well. The game is a fast paced arcade game that tasks you with performing a quick sequence of gestures and phone turns according to a map of symbols strung together with colored lines that appears on the screen. The game is entirely dependent on motion controls as a mechanic, which I am sure is already an immediate turnoff for some readers, but stick with me. Well, I have to admit that my position is a bit shakier than usual, as I do have some reservations about the game. When the detection is off, I was driven up the wall, but when it clicks, you feel like you’re navigating those futuristic monitors in movies that allow you to swipe away tabs and modules.
Endarked has some light story elements involving an inner voice guiding you through an unknown blackness permeated with strange, eerie light beacons, and encroaching shadows. You are implied to be leading a resistance against a mysterious ever-consuming entity, but there’s not much else to say. You could say there’s a message about overcoming doubt and self-empowerment, but I’d say that’s the extent of it. The game simply throws you into the swing of things, pausing whenever a new icon is introduced to show a video with a real-life user demonstrating the meaning and appropriate response to each obstacle. There are some story beats in the middle of levels, but otherwise, this is a pretty basic formula that works for the most part.
Let’s get into what the game asks of you. I think the best way I can explain the game is by saying that you are tracing along the path shown on the screen: following each node and performing actions based on the symbols shown. These actions can be shakes, screen tilts, quick side taps, etc. As for tracing, you are not using the touch screen; rather, you move the device into the direction of the lines. That’s another thing you have to consider: you need some room to play this game, especially with how verticality works in the game. Often times, you need enough space in front of you to hold your device upwards and downwards to maximize your odds the game properly syncs your movements. This is very contentious, and it is reminiscent of complaints about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, where some players had a wide spectrum of satisfaction with the motion controls. I personally got used to it, but most of my losses do feel like they were out of my control. While you’re wrestling with these mechanics, the
thirsty ravenous creeping darkness tries its best to slide into those DM’s make you its prey. As soon as it fully eclipses your screen, it’s game over.
Pretty simplistic in terms of the type of content to expect: 40 “story” levels, which unlocks more and more features for the infinite run mode. That’s it: but I’d say you get more than you pay for considering it is free. That being said, just because an experience is free, doesn’t mean you can’t be paying something else: time, patience, etc. In this case, I think it’s a real mixed-bag that’s difficult to wholeheartedly recommend. That being said, I applaud the developers for cultivating such a unique experience. I do think that despite the fact that I do not give this game the seal of approval, it’s worth a look just for the novelty of it. I think this is a game that you can transcend the inconsistencies and truly master, I’m just not the player that’s going to do that.
Endarked was created by Studio Laganne.
Available on iOS devices only.
Price Point: Free.
Provided a review copy of the game.
hellfirebam has not awarded Endarked The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.