What a difference a few buttons make. When we reviewed Oscura on Android back in June, we lavished praise on its unique look and bountiful imagination, but lamented the often obtuse touch-driven control system.
Now, freshly-repackaged with Xperia Play support, this inventive platformer has overcome its one main failing.
Taking visual cues from indie darling Limbo, Oscura is both creepy and breathtakingly beautiful at once. You control an imp-like creature whose task it is to piece together a shattered lighthouse which has prevented the forces of evil from taking over the world for years.
Light the way
What this boils down to is many levels of platforming action, with your creepy character double-jumping his way through pitfalls and deftly avoiding enemies.
One of the most important features of the game is the ability to slow down time - by tapping the shoulder triggers you can impede the progress of foes and steer your avatar to safety.
This updated version has all of the same content as the one we covered back in June, and even retains the controversial touch-based interface, should you decide to use it. In fact, the tutorial level still assumes that you're playing with that method, even though Xperia Play controls are discreetly enabled by default.
It's almost impossible to convey just what a staggering difference the inclusion of physical buttons makes to this game. The frustration engendered by the occasionally awkward touch system is removed entirely, and in its place lies responsive and accurate control - exactly what's required for this game to shine.
While Oscura was still a recommended download even with touch controls, on the Xperia Play it's elevated to a must-have. This is one of the most inventive and atmospheric mobile games we've played in a long time. Ignore it at your peril.