This is Justin Park’s of Gaming Cypher iPhone review of platformer, George: Scared of the Dark by one-man studio Wall West.
George: Scared of The Dark is a platformer with an auto-run element available on the app store on July 19th. As a ghost called George, you jump through different terrains while avoiding monsters and collecting skulls. When you start playing the game, a story of sorts is introduced as part of the tutorial. A giant skull in the sky gives some cryptic words of advice and sends George on his way. Essentially George sets out on an adventure to conquer his fears by heading towards the light (He’s you know… “Scared of the Dark”).
As George, you’ll jump from ledge to ledge and collect skulls that will unlock items and playable character skins. Finishing a map will unlock the next and an accompanying cut scene. There are 10 maps total, excluding the tutorial and the end stage. Each map is procedurally generated, meaning the layout will be randomized. The controls are pretty straightforward, with swiping motions altering each jump. There is a slight learning curve for figuring out when to jump and swipe for the best results. Once you get the hang of it, the gameplay can be fun. Swiping to the left does a backflip of sorts that isn’t really necessary most of the time. Swiping to the right allows George to zoom forward mid jump. Considering the set pace of the game, this mechanic is the only real way you can achieve a better time on your run on each map for extra points.
Each map is a different terrain type. The art of this game is very pleasant and quite unique. The simple style is cool to look at, and I was generally intrigued to see how different the backgrounds would be for each map. Although each level does have its own theme, most of the layouts of the maps seem to follow a general layout. Still, the design was commendable. Also the music works very well with the general atmosphere of the game. Other than the blaring track on the first map, I felt the music was quite enjoyable. I found myself more excited to see each new level than collecting the skulls.
This brings me to one of my main concerns about this game. There isn’t much to keep a person playing the game. While unlocking each new themed map can be rewarding, it wasn’t enough to naturally keep me going to find out how George’s journey ended. This is especially true because you lose all your skulls you earned for a level whenever you die. Even if you are able to collect a lot of skulls, there are very limited options you can exchange them for in the “collect” section of the menu. Without much motivation to keep playing, the gameplay can get repetitive. Considering that, I found there wasn’t really an incentive for me to put any emphasis on collecting skulls.
Overall, George: Scared of The Dark is a decent platformer with a cool art style. While the story sets an interesting atmosphere, and gameplay can be fun for a bit, there isn’t much that adds to its replay value. Adding a more rewarding element to this visually pleasing game would make it a much better experience. I rate George: Scared of The Dark a 6/10.
Here is the George: Scared Of The Dark Release Trailer:
George: Scared of The Dark releases July 19, 2016 on the App Store.