If you've only played the easy levels of Avoid: Sensory Overload, you could be forgiven for thinking the game was a parody, such is the lolling pace that the early chunks of the game roll by at. It's less sensory overloard and more relaxing country drive.
But those levels aren't for you. They're primers, sedate aperitifs that show you what the rest of the game would be like in slow motion. Skip them - your fingers are fast enough already.
Jump in at medium and the game flashes into ugly neon life.
Faster, harder, brighter
The core of the experience is a dodgems ride through the mind of a screensaver circa 1998, all bright glowing lines and sharp corners. You control a mini ship shooting along into the screen. A tap on the left moves you left, a tap on the right moves you right.
And so you dart through jagged-edged straight-line mazes, weaving through blocks, holes, power-ups, and aids, your speed increasing with every bulbous red 'speed up' sign you race below. Sometimes you drive blind, your view blocked by the towering walls of brightly coloured blocks that force you to swerve.
But all the time you're searching for score multipliers, risking life and restarts by twitching to the left to nab a 5x multiplier to nudge your score that little bit higher.
And with every slide up the difficulty ratings, those multipliers are placed in even crueller, harder to reach places.
There's a grungy, lo-fi twang to the game that makes it look like a rejected style-sheet for the original Tron. It's the sort of thing you might have built on a C64, but harder edged, and destined to soak into the fabric of your dreams.
It's by no means perfect, and doesn't quite have sharp enough hooks to drag itself alongside the best of the genre, but there's a simplicity to Avoid: Sensory Overload that means it's remarkably easy to get along with.
In part, that simplicity is its downfall. It builds a little too slowly on its ideas, upping the speed but not adding anything super-fresh to the mix as it does. Still, there's a sharp, twitchy dodge-'em-up here, just make sure you pass on the easy levels.