I think my favourite thing about Nitrome is the way it plays around with the shape of genre. In other hands, Vault! could have been a standard auto-runner.
Instead it's a clever twist, with a pole vaulting mechanic that makes you rethink your approach to leaping over chasms and dodging bouncy red obstacles.
And as you'd expect from Nitrome, it doesn't take too long to get its claws into you. It might not be as original as some of the dev's other games, but there's more here than you'd get from your average endless action game.Jumping with a stick
The controls are unsurprisingly simple. You push on the screen to extend your pole towards the ground. When it hits you push yourself automatically into the air. Lift your finger and you'll lift your pole and start your descent.
And that's about it. There are coins to nab along the way, and you're constantly chasing your high score as well. Speedy restarts and an addictive bounce mean that you'll quickly get stuck in a one-more-go loop.
Timing your jumps is the order of the day here, which means getting to grips with the movements of your pole. Sometimes you'll need to stick it on the opposite side of a gap, other times you'll need to get it down beforehand.
There are bounce pads that fling you into the air, and balls on sticks that knock you to the floor if you hit them. But more importantly there's a solidity to the physics that makes everything seem perfectly fair.
You can almost feel the jolt of shock when your pole slips off the edge of a platform and you begin an inevitable plummet to your doom. Then you tap to start again, because you're having a ball.Stick it in
In the hands of an inferior developer, Vault! could have been a bit of a mess, but Nitrome has built a quick-fire arcade action game around a single idea that just works.
It might get a little repetitive, and there might only be a handful of characters to unlock, but there's a neatly sliced mobile game here all the same.