Give it Up! is a pretty bold moniker for a game. But it isn't just a title, it's also a dare. "Bet you can't stick with this game without going nuts!" it jeers. And sure enough, you're driven to roll up your sleeves and give it a go.
Depending on your temperament, you may wind up taking Give it Up!'s advice after all.
It's a merciless twitch game that requires pixel-perfect timing, and falls just short of offering enough incentive to keep you going for hours at a time. You'll certainly be driven to give it your best for a few rounds, though.
Feel the rhythm
Give it Up! stars a curiously cute black blob that's featureless save for two big, blank eyes. When a level starts, the blob automatically begins leaping on a sequence of pedestals. The course he follows is littered with hazards like walls and spikes.
The blob is driven by a background rhythm. If you tap in-sync with the beat, he pulls off large jumps. These jumps are necessary to clear the aforementioned hazards.
One screw up, however, and blobby is done for. He's shuffled back to the start of a stage, and that's where you begin again.
There's no mercy and no advancement until you complete 100% of a stage (though there is an option to unlock all the game's levels at once for a small in-app purchase).
Give it Up! doesn't believe in gentle introductions, either. Hazards are often packed together, forcing you to chain jumps. You can expect to die in the same problem spots again and again.
Oh, and when you splatter, the game sneers at you and tells you to go watch TV or something. And before long, these taunts become sensible invitations.
It's not me, it's you
The game is sometimes pretty satisfying though. Its beats are maddening, and you're helpless not to tap along. And the insults that appear with each death do spark your spirit of defiance, at least at first.
But even though the game demands precision on the atomic level, there are too many moments where you're not sure if it's playing fair.
You could swear on the graves of your ancestors that you made that troublesome jump in time, only to find yourself with another dead blobby.
And this seeming non-responsiveness is especially problematic when hazards are chained together.
I love rhythm games, even the ones that set out to make me cry. But being forced back to the start of Give it Up! over and over again - especially when I'm not certain a screw-up was my fault - wears thin after a while.
It's worth trying out, but if you want to avoid burning out or pitching your mobile device out the window, you might want to schedule small play sessions in between big breaks.