VVVVVV has always been the sort of game that makes you curse. This iOS version is no different.
There was always a danger that you'd swear for the wrong reasons. That Terry Cavanagh's razor sharp platformer would be blunted by touchscreen controls.
But that's not the case. There's a sharpness to the gravity flipping taps, and the colossal mishaps that do occur are usually your fault. You've strayed too close to a spike, leapt without looking, or just got your timing all wrong.
There's the same danger in the mobile version that you'd find in the rest then, and all the charm and retro twinkles as well. This is a game that feels as comfortable on your phone as it did on your PC, and that's an impressive feat.
For the uninitiated, VVVVVV is a platform game where you can't jump. Instead you flip the gravity of the world with a tap of the screen. If you're walking on the floor, a tap will see you walking on the ceiling.
You need to utilise this skill to find the scattered members of your crew. There's a Metroidvania feeling to proceedings. A large map reveals itself as you discover teleporters, logs, and all manner of hateful platforming apparatus.
There are three different control methods to choose from. All of them split the screen in half. The default setting sees you sliding a finger left and right on the left half of the screen to move, and tapping on the right to flip gravity.
There's a joypad option that plays in much the same way, positioning buttons at the bottom left of the screen. The third option lets you tap the screen edges to move. Pushing them both at the same time flips gravity.
The game splits itself up into a number of different screens, each with a different name. These are littered with spikes, moving platforms, crumbling walkways, and a mass of other fiendish obstacles that you need to make your way past.
Checkpoints are scattered around as well. You'll be thankful they're there, because the game is difficult from the instant it begins. It's delivered in little stabs of clever, wonderfully designed platforming.
Some require a little bit of working out. You need to fathom when to flip gravity, where to stand, and often more importantly, what to do next. Other chunks are all about the speed of your reactions, flipping before your brain even has time to catch up.
It all blends together to create an indie platforming experience that is as unique now as it was when it first came out. It's bright, full of jokes, and daring enough to trot off in its own direction.
VVVVVV worth it
If you've never played VVVVVV before then this version is as good a place as any to start. It feels comfortable, and bouncing from floor to ceiling is smooth and effortless.
It's just as tough, just as entertaining, and it builds its world just as brilliantly as before. But this time it fits quite neatly in your pocket.
Even if you're a fan, it's worth picking up again. The thin slices of gameplay fit neatly into a mobile-sized gaming gap. And who knows, you might even learn some new curses to throw at it.