George is just a lonely ghost who doesn't really know who he is, but there's something that might answer his question if only he can get to the lighthouse, and find out who lives in the small cottage. In this platformer/runner game, George: Scared of the Dark, you will be taking on the part of George, you will have to dodge enemies, collect skulls, and survive each of the 10 levels to get the whole story.
Graphically I found that the game looked great. You don't need flashy graphics in this game, and the color scheme and look just seemed to fit. I enjoyed the look of the enemies as well, although after retrying a level over and over again, you start to REALLY hate that specific type of enemy.
This game is procedurally generated, what that means is that you'll never play the same level twice, even if you are retrying the level. Now in most part there isn't an issue with this method in the game, however, when you get further in the game this method starts to backfire. Now understand that this is meant to be a difficult game, and so there's definitely going to be many retries per level, but the thing is that some of the retries are based solely on no-win situations. The reason I say this is that there are certain times where you're not going to be able to dodge the enemy or projectile and so you're going to be forced to be okay with the outcome.
Now I mentioned enemies in the game, and there are quite a few of them, some MUCH more dangerous than others. You will quickly be introduced to the Yellow Blobs, and they are going to make life interesting for you because they are either going to jump in place, charge at you, or do a combo of both. Then there are the rolling eyeballs, by far the most mundane of the group, all you have to do is time the drop of the eyeball and be ready to jump over it. There's also zombie hands, that actually are about on par with the eyeballs, and as long as you time it right, they're not even going to beat you. The bats, on the other hand, are going to take some skill as not all of them will awaken, and when they do, they are going to try to come right after you, so timing is beyond key, but if your timing is a little bit off you're going to find yourself restarting the level. Finally, we have the knives, and this is probably the most menacing enemy/projectile in the game because the chance of no win scenarios is higher with these. There are two different knives, a rotating cleaver and a flying steak knife. I believe they are trying to aim for your current location, but with the runner factor of the game there are times where you have no choice but to either get cut in half or fall to your death.
I mentioned that this is a runner game and that means that you are constantly running from left to right, which means that you'll have to always be aware of what is ahead of you be it enemies, skulls, or jumps. This means that you're going to have to lean on the controls of the game. As this game was played on the iOS that means that you're going to be relying on touchscreen controls. You will tap to jump you can swipe forward to speed forward, and you can swipe back to back flip and sometimes go backwards a bit. Here's the issue, the jump mechanics are the only thing you can count on in the game. There are times where the swipes don't actually register or register in a way that causes more harm than good.
An example of this is in the flying knife level where you're going to have to backflip a lot if you're going to find any way of potentially navigating past those knives, however you're going to find that sometimes the flip takes you back, sometimes it's ignored, and sometimes you go flying back on the flip. Actually, this applies to the speeding forward mechanism as well, sometimes you don't really leave the ground when you speed forward, sometimes you speed backwards, and sometimes, I'm guessing because the swipe wasn't EXACTLY left to right, it does nothing.
I stated that there are 10 levels to this game, and to be honest, I feel like that is too few. You have so many features/ideas/monsters/etc. that appear in this game, and most of them are quickly used and then forgotten. If that's the way it was to be developed why have all the different enemies and such in the first place. It feels like the developer thought, "hmm, this could be cool," and then immediately forgot about it on the very next level design.
At the end of each level that is a skull that will tell you a story, or at least attempt to, I'm not really sure what it's talking about, and if I want to read what was said again I've got to run and successfully beat the level in its entirety to get a second chance. There's also the fact that there are sometimes where the text on the screen seems to appear for too long and other times where it's a little bit short. I can only assume that the developer decided to have a constant amount of time no matter the character count, and there's also no way to advance the text pass when the game wants it to change.
Now here's something that I'm going to have to say I'm just nitpicking at, and hell, maybe people think I've already been pretty nitpicky with what I've said so far, but this is how I see games. Unless something has changed this game actually doesn't meet the required criteria for being a game on a mobile device. When the device receives a call the game is to pause and upon returning from the call the game should present you with a pause screen so that the user is prepared to continue. This game does indeed pause when a phone call comes in but when the call ends, it goes right back into the game, and since it's a runner game 99 out of 100 times you're going to be restarting the level, even if this is the furthest you've gotten through that specific level.
Alright, so let's get down to it, is this game worth a spot on your iOS device... It could be, there's something to this game that is entertaining, but there is a lot of frustration that is caused as well. I'm going to say it's a 50/50 type of recommendation to you, the reader. I'm going to give this game a 5.7 out of 10.