Game Reviews

Kid Vector

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| Kid Vector
Kid Vector
| Kid Vector

Fresh from his exploits in Blast Ball, Kid Vector is back to star in another retro-themed iOS release.

This time, rather than punting balls into goals our wire-frame hero is more concerned with negotiating platforms and dashing through levels as quickly as his stick-like legs can carry him - which happens to be surprisingly fast, considering the under-developed nature of his muscles.

Like Blast Ball, Kid Vector features simple pick-up-and-play controls. 'Left' and 'right' need no explanation, and the only other command is 'jump'. Tapping this a second time in midair lets you execute a second jump, which proves useful for clearing large gaps in the environment.

Not bad, kid

There are three main objectives in each stage. The first - and most obvious - is to avoid colliding with hostile forces and get to the end of the level in one piece.

Achieving this goal is enough to unlock the next challenge, but you can earn additional points by collecting all of the coins scattered around the stage, as well as tracking down the coveted star. The final objective is to complete the stage in as quick a time as possible.

The platforming action on show in Kid Vector will be instantly recognisable to anyone who grew up in the 8- and 16-bit eras.

There are moving platforms to contend with, as well as environmental hazards and mobile enemies. You'll also have to deal with UFOs, which use tractor beams to pull your character into harm's way, and ferocious worms, which are capable of reducing our hero to a shower of neon lines.

The act of speeding through each level and skilfully avoiding traps and baddies is thrilling in itself, but you'll need to make sure you're playing this on a relatively fast iOS device - on older hardware, Kid Vector really stutters, making it frustratingly difficult to time your jumps precisely.

Neon nightmare

Even if your iOS device is up to the task, it's impossible to escape the feeling that something is missing from Kid Vector. While the gameplay is undeniably entertaining, the lack of any story and the repetitive nature of the wire-frame visuals means that the game's long-term appeal is questionable.

There are only 15 levels to complete, which takes less time than you might imagine, and once you've bested them all there's a good chance you'll abandon Kid Vector for fresh pursuits.

Like so many of the vintage platformers it seeks so badly to emulate, Kid Vector is fun while it lasts, but feels like a quick snack as opposed to a filling meal.

Kid Vector

Imbued with a retro style and blessed with tight controls, Kid Vector calls to mind the great platformers of yesteryear, but sadly lacks long-term prospects
Damien  McFerran
Damien McFerran
Damien's mum hoped he would grow out of playing silly video games and gain respectable employment. Perhaps become a teacher or a scientist, that kind of thing. Needless to say she now weeps openly whenever anyone asks how her son's getting on these days.