Appearances can be deceiving, and that’s exactly what Glorkian Warrior is for the average player. When you first open up the game, it seems to be nothing more than a cute kids app, but once you start playing an overflow of frustration starts seeping out. It’s not because the game is bad - it isn’t at all - but it sure does keep players on their toes.
Glorkian Warrior centers on a pink alien named Sgt. Buster Glark, a silly little warrior whose job is to exterminate the invaders who are threatening to take over their asteroid. There isn’t much story behind it, but it’s enough incentive to have you go out and start shooting away at the strange little Galaga-like creatures that are swarming above. Right at his back, literally, is his sidekick, the inquisitive but wise-cracking laser pack who helps you eliminate the threat. Along the way you’ll encounter a bunch of random beings that will give our hero a hard time, but there’s no need to fear. With the help of the tutorial, you’ll be able to battle your turf and send those aliens back to wherever they came from.
Try not to whiz by the tutorial when it first appears on your screen. You’ll be able to refer back to a help guide on the main page if you have any questions, but once you get past the tutorial you’re mainly on your own. Before you even start the game, you’re given the option of selecting a couple screen mechanisms to help you play. When you’re first starting out, do yourself a favor and just stick with the first option that’s automatically set for you. If you try to go and select the other one right off the bat, you’ll find yourself struggling to keep your character’s head attached to the rest of his body. Then again, if you’re the more adventurous type, go ahead and take the second option, but I don’t recommend doing that. Players should get adjusted to the fairly sensitive side screen buttons. You’re able to dodge and destroy any aliens flying your way, but it’s not so simple to just stand and shoot at them. You have to be continually on the move as they quickly begin to hurl a bunch of various objects your way, a lot of them capable of beheading your hero.
If you’re an average video game player you’ll probably start off in normal mode. There’s nothing wrong with starting there, but the creatures are coming at you in such a rapid rate so quickly, you might suspect you accidentally shifted the settings to a higher difficulty. Glorkian Warrior may look like an adorable, simple game but don’t let the child-like characters and the 8-bit, almost Midi-like background music fool you. You need to be incredibly quick with your fingers in order to pass through each level, and that’s appreciated in an iOS game. You shouldn’t be taken by the hand and lead through every interactive phone app like this as if you’re simple-minded children. Gamers crave a challenge, and Glorkian Warrior demands that your hand-eye coordination be in sync, or else you’ll lose the game.
There’s no way you can go ahead and jump from one level to another. Glorkian Warrior isn’t a game set up that way. Similar to Galaga, Glorkian Warrior demands that you fight your way through the levels as you can. If your character dies, then that’s the end. You’re forced to go back to the beginning, presenting more of a challenge for each player. Along with that, the formations of the alien ships change even in the first level. They eventually begin to repeat but each formation is randomized, making it more difficult for the novice player to be able to quickly plow their way through the first few levels, which turns into a lot of fun and equally irritating game time for many, including myself.
Last but certainly not least is the incredibly loud but catchy background music that’s bursting out of this amusing little app. It sounds similar to Midi music or something that would easily fit into an 8-bit video game, which makes Glorkian Warrior all the more charming to players. When you combine that with the chalk-esque, childlike designs of the world and characters, it’s enough to make you smile from ear to ear when you first open the app. It gives off this deceptive aesthetic look that this will be a game that’s a lot easier to play than it seems, which makes it such a blast to play.
Glorkian Warrior is one of those rare games that left us conflicted. On one hand, we loved it, a large part due to the creative and vibrant look of the game. But then it filled us with so much game-ridden pain as the difficulty really kept us on our toes. Some players will appreciate the kind of frustration that goes with a challenge. Glorkian Warrior is irritating but is strangely satisfying to play at the same time.
This review was completed using a purchased copy of Glorkian Warrior: Trials of Glork for iOS.