Even amongst the sea of pristine graphics and realistic effects that today’s video games have to offer, I still crave the simplicity of the old school Atari classics like Joust, Pole Position, and Donkey Kong. Well, with Elevators, created by Roben Software Inc., you can revisit at least one of those. Elevators is in some ways a Donkey Kong clone, but instead of rescuing a fair maiden, the object of the game is to keep your job!
In this game you step into the shoes of an optimistic yet timid young lad named Eric. Eric enthusiastically shows up to his first day of work accompanied by his trusty canine sidekick Jaffa. His new boss, showing his tender side, enlightens Eric to the fact that the buildings elevators have run amuck, killing some residents. Eric needs to get to the elevator control room ASAP and fix the problem or else he loses his much needed job. The only problem is that the control room is on the roof of the high rise building and to get there Eric’s got to stare death in the face by ascending floor after floor, avoiding out of control elevators, trap doors, exploding bombs, and deadly bananas being hurled by a giant gorilla!
As simple as Elevators may sound, let me assure you it’s very challenging. You can choose between Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulty levels, which in my case Easy was certainly all that I could handle. So let’s talk a little about what makes Elevators challenging. First of all, the game only requires you to press one button, the Run button. When you press the Run button Eric starts gallivanting across the floor, but if you let go of it Eric doesn’t come to a stop, he starts running back to the other side of the level. So, because elevators are moving up and down at different times and in different directions, you’ll often find yourself pinned in a small area between two elevators where moving too far in either direction could mean instant death!
The moving elevators aren’t the least bit forgiving. If you touch them while the doors are closed they take away health, and if you’re caught underneath one or above them it rips you into pieces. As sinister as the elevators are there are some benefits to them. When they stop on a floor the doors open. If you catch a ride on a gold elevator it’ll take you all the way to the top floor for that stage. However, don’t get carried away and jump into a red elevator. If you do that it’ll take you straight back down to the bottom!
As if the slew of moving elevators weren’t challenging enough, you’ve got to also account for trap doors opening and closing, bombs exploding, and bananas coming at you from above. One thing’s for sure you’ve got to be on top of your game while playing. It’s pretty difficult to assess all of what’s going on and to time everything just right. Don’t be too discouraged if you keep falling through trap doors. It’s pretty much par for the course. You’ll certainly take lots of damage while playing, but thankfully there are ways to earn more health, extra lives, and bonus points. From time-to-time elevators will drop off health packages, hearts for extra lives, and little Jaffas (doggies) you can collect for bonus points. Try to get as many as you can because you’ll definitely need them if you want to generate a big score.
Overall I found Elevators to be a pretty entertaining game. I can’t lie, it definitely made me angry and frustrated at times, but that’s mainly because it’s harder than it looks. If you’re a fan of Donkey Kong and old school games then I think you’ll like this one. The graphics aren’t particularly amazing and the effects certainly aren’t cutting edge, but it’s definitely entertaining enough that you’ll probably want to keep it around and continue trying to one up your previous best score. The only thing I’ll warn you about is that I found the sound effects to be somewhat annoying after a while. I’d be nice to be able to have the option to turn off certain sound effects and/or to be able to listen to music on your iPod while playing. Currently there is neither.
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad; iPhone OS 2.0 or later
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