I’m a sucker for gimmicky new cereal brands.
Each time I get a new one home (the last one had chocolate-hazelnut spread in the middle), expectations are high that it’s going to revolutionise my breakfast times.
What I inevitably find is a decent enough cereal that tastes very much like any number of other examples.
These experiences spring to mind as I consider Furry Legends.
Having not played or seen anything of the game in its WiiWare, DSiWare, or bada form, all I had to go on was a number of reports hinting at a lush Rolando-style physics-based platformer. Great! Just what Android needs.
Sadly, it’s not.
Rather, Gamelion’s title is a nicely presented and fun but thoroughly traditional platformer. While you control a ball of fur that rolls rather than walks around the screen, there isn’t so much as a hint of the ingenious accelerometer controls and inventive screen-prodding of HandCircus’s iPhone effort.
Rather, you negotiate the colourful levels through a five-way virtual D-pad (no need for downwards controls here) and buttons. If you have a phone with a physical D-pad, that’ll do, too, but you’ll have to revert to the touchscreen for diagonal jumps.
The trouble with such controls is it’s hard to make them seem natural and fluid. So it proves here, with multiple examples of getting caught jumping fruitlessly against a platform edge and rolling straight off the side of a platform because you fudged the appropriate directional command.
The special ability, too, is a curious move that isn’t very well explained or executed. It took us while to realise that you need to press the corresponding button, then immediately prod a direction in order to send your furry friend off on a speedy roll.
While we’re talking about poor signposting, spike traps have a nasty tendency to blend into the background like they’re harmless daisies, leading to some irritating instant deaths.
Then there’s the game’s technical performance, which was distinctly stuttery on our Milestone.
Still, the Android Market isn’t exactly overflowing with traditional platformers, and Furry Legends is one of the better examples. It just seems like a wasted opportunity to create something a little more distinctive and better suited to the platform.
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