The endearingly deranged EGZ features bipedal eggs that leap about a colourful prehistoric world. The tiny snag - everything in that world wants to smash them to pieces.
It comes across like a side-on golf game designed by someone who's quaffed too much sherbet, and it marries a gleeful, silly, vibrant aesthetic with familiar fling 'em up controls.Thin shelled
At first, EGZ is brilliant. The level design is smart, the visuals are lovely, and the squeaky 'READY… GO' yelped before you begin a challenge will make you happily reminisce about Puzzle Bobble.
Egz also scrambles things up on a regular basis, dropping new ideas into the mix - there are zip lines, vines to swing on, floaty bubbles, bouncy walls, gravity switching, geysers that shoot you into the air, boss fights, and more.
The temptation is to blaze through, not least because each level has a strict time limit.
But it soon becomes clear that precision is the smarter option, because Egz are fragile creatures that are prone to dying.Many Egz, beaten
Fortunately, you can upgrade the durability and jumping powers of your Egz using XP you earn through completing or replaying levels.
There's a trio of mini-games to play through that boost your XP more rapidly. Bringing a dead Egz back is possible, too, if you throw enough XP at the game.
And therein lies the one face-smashing hurdle that trips up Egz - the XP system is punishing and feels horribly close to freemium mechanics in a premium game.
Fail a level? Your Egz dies and you lose three XP. Want your Egz back? That'll be 15 XP. Quit a level early? More XP gone.Eggy dead
This is initially irksome, but infuriating when tackling later levels with Egz-crushing cogs and Egz-smashing drops, not least because some controls aren't quite precise enough to avoid the odd death, and you can't always see where you'll end up before making a leap.
There are ways to cheat death (see our tips), and you can grind to power-up an Egz before you even tackle the first handful of levels.
Doing these things immediately transforms Egz from a frustrating, flawed game into one that might lack innovation, but that's packed full of relentlessly breezy arcade fun.
Here's hoping an update soon arrives that rebalances the Egz XP system, because this is a great little game being held back by just one major shortcoming.
As it is, Egz is very much still worth a go. Just be mindful of our tips, because playing it 'properly' all the way through is likely to make you crack up.