Space Disorder Review
Got a hankering for jet-powered platforming? BulkyPix is here to deliver with Space Disorder, a coin-hoarding, alien-rescuing adventure from French developer Mi-Clos Studio. The colors pop, the animation is buttery smooth, and the sounds are steller, but does it have the gameplay to help it fly over the competition?
I hated this game when I first played it. Sure, it was pretty enough to look at and the characters had cool designs, but that was the only thing I liked about it. In Space Disorder, you play young Noah, a cosmonaut out to save aliens in space for some reason. He's small, floats around with a jetpack, rocks a bubble shield, and has an onion-shaped head (probably a side-effect from being in space at such a young age). So because of the excellent visuals, I decided to give it a few more chances before completely giving up.
To control the little guy, you'll have to swipe and hold in different directions. Swiping left or right makes him walk on the floors of the spaceships. Vertical and diagonal swipes make him jump. Holding your finger on the screen after a swipe activates the jetpack, causing Noah to scrape his pointy head on the ceilings. You'll use all of these maneuvers to navigate spaceships piloted by frowny-faced robots who have a menagerie of cute aliens in cages. These ships are filled with coins to collect in order to buy the keys that will free the adorable little xenomorphs. It may take a few levels to get enough money for one key, but once you've rescued your first alien, you can give it gifts to improve its mood. When they're happy, the aliens will give you missions to complete as you make your way through levels. This virtual pet simulator that nobody asked for isn't my favorite part of Space Disorder, but I did like the number of alien types modeled after famous extraterrestrials.
The presentation is solid. The game is cartoony, colorful, and has an aesthetically pleasant style. The music is appropriately spacey and inspired by French techno-pop, but can lull you to sleep after a while. In fact, I actually fell asleep while playing this game in bed and the music is to blame. But when I was awake and completely conscious of my actions, I still had a lot of difficulty getting into the game. It took way too long to collect 700 coins per key to release an alien. The sub-levels seemed to never end, nor did the constant recycling of environments. There were a few points when I was very confused about what level I was on because they all looked the same. The whole thing might as well be Noah's very own personal hell, where he's condemned to spend all of eternity floating around and freeing irate copyright infringements who do nothing but give him more tasks. If you want to bypass all of the trouble just to save critters, you can always pony up some real cash to buy the coins you need for keys.
You can also buy a host of different tools that will help you stay alive in the ships as you dodge robots and lasers. There are orbs that invert gravity so you can throw grenades at area-blocking crates on ceilings. Clones are available and act as extra lives whenever Noah dies; the game even helpfully leaves the original Noah's crispy corpse where he died so you have a convenient marker. And then there are the gifts that you can offer to your alien overlords in return for more missions. But why bother? It takes too long to do anything in this game and there's very little payoff. Every time I reached the end of a level, I'd just groan and go off to do the next one just to find out if the experience got better. Well, it never did and I just ended up hating the game even more. It may be pretty to look at, but you're better off floating past this title.