Down the Mountain: addictive but infuriating
The App Army Assembles
Each week we ask our App Army for their feedback on the latest and greatest releases on mobile. One top pick this week was Umbrella Games's endless hopper, Down the Mountain.
Let's see what our App Army had to say...
This is one addictive game - the controls are fluid and work well. Graphically it's on par with Crossy Road, and the sound effects are spot-on for this type of game. It's something I can see myself playing when I'm out and about.
Agreed - annoyingly addictive!
No argument there!
It's like Crossy Road and Q*bert had a baby. I can see this being quite addictive... trying to beat that last high score is really moreish. 102 is the highest score I've achieved so far.
It's getting frustrating. Maybe I'm just not that good at these kinds of games. I'm finding that I just can't seem to get to grips with it. It's the spike traps that get me every time.
They need to have longer pauses when they disappear into the block to give you a chance to actually get past them. There are not many blocks either side of you that you can move to, so you are really limited to which path you can take and it gets frustrating.
I must admit if I had bought this game I think I would have deleted it by now and moved on to something else.
The further my cute blocky character goes down, the more my addiction level goes up. I think my enjoyment has plateaued now due to a few grievances.
Down The Mountain may not be as great as Crossy Road or have the most innovative name, but there's something to it that I really like.
The blocky artstyle looks pretty neat and there are loads of achievements to grab and characters to unlock.
My main problem lies with there being way too many block types, which makes everything frustratingly hard. If it were only land, water, and road it would be more fun.
The levels are not fully randomly generated either, which was one of the things I really liked about Crossy Road.
The ads are pretty intrusive, but my biggest problem with the game is that I'm just not very good at it. It looks, sounds, and controls great, but for me there's too little reward for all the frustration.
'I am just not very good at it' says the person who got to 102!
Ha! Is that a good score then? It was the product of about 45 seconds of play. Since then I'm averaging around the 30-40 mark every time.
I'm still finding it frustrating. Look at the screenshot above for an example. The blue squares are water, and will automatically push you down a certain direction.
If you follow each path there is no way to miss a lava block, meaning an instant game over.
You have to jump off quickly to avoid being pushed down.
Hmm... that's not working for me. I'm a pushing the screen but still getting pulled along by the water's current.
Down the Mountain is pacy and requires some quick thinking as to where you place your character. The fact that the level doesn't change every time you restart means that you can begin to perfect your route and timings to get the best high score.
I always find ads in a game frustrating, but these aren't too intrusive as they only pop up every so often. Not enough to make me delete the game after five minutes of playing, which is what I normally do.
This game is both extremely addictive and frustrating.
It's really cluttered and fast paced, making it really hard to concentrate on a specific plan. The soundtrack and the effects are on point, apart from the sound effect you get when stepping on the poisonous blocks (...it's really creepy).
The adverts are not that annoying, but they could've gone with Crossy Road's approach which is much smarter in my opinion.
Are you enjoying the game though? I'm just getting annoyed with it. Seems that the actual design of the game wants you to fail as there are so many times when there is no other alternative as you make your way down.
It's not enjoyable, just tormenting - that's what makes it addictive. It doesn't compel me to play it again after I exit it though.
Well I'm 250 games in now, and still finding it tough. I just don't think I'm built for this kind of game as I can't seem to get the little square dude to go where he needs to and miss the obstacles on the way down. I guess the devs can't please everyone though.
This game has really hooked me! Whenever you make a silly mistake, you believe that you can beat your high score. Then you try again only to make the same mistake again. A truly vicious circle!
Down the Mountain is essentially another Crossy Road game, but with a few very important twists that make the game really enjoyable.
In Crossy Road there are essentially only two ways to die - get hit by something or fall into water. Down the Mountain spices things up by varying tiles and how they react to you.
For example there are tiles with moving spikes, sticky jam sandwich tiles, and TNT tiles that you have to jump away from quickly.
Remembering which tiles do what is tricky at first, but soon becomes challenging fun! There are also missions to complete which are surprisingly addictive.
The only issue I had was with the ads interfering with gameplay every few turns.
This is one of those games where you'll either chuck 79p at the dev if you love it, or you'll delete it having lost nothing except your time.
I really love this game. It's a wonderful blend of fun and challenge. Though it will no doubt get compared to Crossy Road by most people, the game stands out by tossing so many different things at you. You're constantly on your toes.
The controls are simplistic and you'll be glad for that because it's truly a fight for survival. Every step you take could be your last.
There are a few minor flaws here and there. The characters you unlock do nothing to add to the gameplay, and the difficulty can at times make you frustrated at times. I keppt coming back for more though!
I can't say that I'm great at these endless games, and I am not familiar with the gameplay of Q*bert either. However, I'm a big fan of this game so far!
The environment layout can be chaotic sometimes, and it's tough as you can only travel downwards, but when I mess up I realise how it was my own fault for not watching and worrying about where I was going.
I am not good at fast-paced games, but I'm really enjoying Down the Mountain. The quests give me a reason to keep playing, and unlocking characters feels more enjoyable here than in Crossy Road. I like knowing who I will get and how to get them.
The best part is how the levels stay the same for a few runs in a row. The star placements might change, but the majority of the level remains the same. This is something I haven't seen before. You can then use that to help you plan out ways to finish your quests.
Down the Mountain is really compulsive. I played it for about 45 minutes straight the first time I picked it up. It's hard to put down!
I liked Crossy Road, and I loved Q*bert, but this doesn't quite click with me.
If I had to guess why, I'd say it's the level design. It feels too chaotic, which translates to painfully short and frustrating when I'm playing it.
A couple of tweaks here and there would probably fix it for me, but for the moment it just hasn't grabbed me like I hoped it would.
I loved Crossy Road for a long time and had to delete it to save me from myself, but I just don't get the same feelings from Down the Mountain. Also, the only similarity with Q*bert is the isometric block style.
While I like the mission mechanics and visual appeal, I have a few issues with the game. The runs don't seem random enough. It's always obvious what you're going to encounter for the first 10 seconds - some grass, then stars, sand, spikes, lava, bread, poison, etc.
Also, it's just not easy enough to begin with and doesn't actually feel that fun. Dodging those spikes in the first 10 seconds is just plain annoying and boring, and I can't be bothered to work out their pattern.
The controls leave something to be desired. The beauty of Crossy Road was that it was one-touch gameplay and you could "queue" your jumps in advance, i.e. tapping five times quickly would then see your character do five jumps.
In Down the Mountain, you can't tap faster than you can jump. Instead you have to sort of work out a tapping rhythm and do that instead. I won't be taking another trip Down the Mountain again.
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Did you pick up Down the Mountain? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
I love free runners, but this just hasn't been fun for me. I never liked Q*bert, and I only found Crossy Road interesting for a very short time. A thumbs down from me I'm afraid.