A title like Tilt to Live is as much a warning as it is a call to action.

Rather than calling on you to survive the never-ending onslaught of red dots by tilting your handset, Tilt to Live affirms your inevitable end. The threat of death and defeat looms ominously over the game's attitude-driven arcade action.

No matter how high your score or skillful your manoeuvring, the game will end with your cursor's death. Game Over is guaranteed.

And so, from the beginning, the game puts itself into a box. The amount of fun you glean is entirely dependent on however long you can motivate yourself to return to its simple and stylish tilt action after dying and dying again.

If looks could kill

To be sure, the presentation does an impressive job of coaxing you back after each defeat. There's a sly charm at work here: it's viewed through colourful explosions, animated backgrounds, and cheeky tips that prompt you to hide from your handset while the game loads up.

Your only goal is to stay alive in the face of red dots that pop onto the screen - touch one and you're done. At first, they appear randomly, but as time ticks by dots gather in dangerous formations. Fortunately, you have access to an array of potent weapons from a spinning spike shield and a violent violet projectile to yellow cluster missiles and freezing ice shards.

These power-ups appear randomly on the screen. Nabbing them becomes as important as evading dots to the point that the game is about moving from weapon to weapon.

Weapon of choice

They're fun to activate, especially as you unlock more powerful ones by earning achievements through Agon Online. Of course, having to unlock weapons makes the game initially tough and even after acquiring new ones the game's difficulty doesn't diminish one bit.

Despite the variety offered by these weapons and their cool effects (ice and lightning are particularly pretty), the game is done in by its own shallow nature. It's intentional, yet purposeful or not it leaves the game with short appeal. Toppling friends' high scores and unlocking achievements will have to suffice for motivation because nothing is provided in gameplay itself.

There's reason to believe that a quick play here and there preserve the game's appeal: in other words, its one-dimensional action can be a strength when played in short bursts. Still, Tilt to Live is a warning unto itself: you will meet an end and your desire to keep playing this game may very well go with it.