November 12, 2019
I have not played a lot of the modern day platformers. Celeste, Limbo, Shovel Knight, Cuphead. When I think of the current platformers those are some of the names that come to mind for me. I haven’t even played the newest Mario game for the Switch.
I have played a lot of the previous generations of platformers. Lot of Sonic (can’t wait for the movie!) Mario, Crash, Spyro, Jax and Dexter, Banjo, just to name some that I liked. So Unbroken Soul interested me when it became our game of the week. I was thinking a mix of old school pixel platform and maybe some Dark Souls learn the fight mechanics. And that is exactly what it feels like to me.
In Unbroken Soul you have nine worlds to travel through, each with four stages and a boss fight at the end of each world. Worlds are different and unique enough, as are the bosses that it does not feel like the same zone over and over. Levels are also not to slow, just about the perfect size for a phone game. Some levels require more skill to traverse, others none at all. I found certain worlds to be kinda awful, requiring pinpoint accuracy to make a jump, or grab a hook. Not every world here was created equally, and the difficulty doesn’t progress in a linear fashion. Some are just harder to get through than others. Same goes with boss fights. I found the second world boss to be hard when I originally got to him. But the last three regular bosses before the final boss I was able to one shot without any issue, go figure.
I found I had more problems with levels, not being accurate enough in my jumps than I did with boss fights. Patterns overall were not too hard to learn, and once you have mastered them replaying a level for extra gold was very easy and quick to do. I hate when you have to die to figure out the puzzle as well. That only happened a couple of times, but I feel like that is a cheap mechanic, basically forcing you to die in order to progress, there was no way of knowing what to do without realistically dying at least once.
I also struggle to play games with screen controls, luckily Unbroken Soul has an answer to that. The recent ios update allows you to use a PS4 controller if the game has built in controls. After beating the game I attempted to try out the touch controls and found it next to unplayable for me in some worlds. Could be that I’m an old man now and I need the tactile feel of a controller, could be the game is garbage without one. I also frequently felt like I was sliding on ice with my character, nothing to crazy, the controls are responsive, but you character moves just a little after you let up on the controls.
Story to this game is weak. Dialogue cutscenes at the start of a level, before a boss, and after you leave the zone. BUT. BUT. also in the middle of the damn boss fights, you’ll get a dialogue scene. And if you die and have to do the fight again, you get the same cutscenes. For a game with little to no story, I could have done without.
I find Unbroken Soul to be a well above average phone game, and an average game in general. While being very frustrating at times, I never really struggled to understand what I needed to do in order to get to the next area, I just didn’t have the pinpoint accuracy it required. I imagine if I was playing with the touch screen I would have given up at some point. Pretty good game for a phone, and at the price tag you get your money's worth. By far not the worst way to spend a few hours, but feels like a time waster than a full fledged game at times.