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Review: Don't Look Down!
Author: Marko
Added: 15/10/2008

I like games that do that little bit more to me when i make a mistake; like when your stomach ends up in your throat after falling from a great height. ODT on the Playstation did it well, as did Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto 3. Don't Look Down! should be added to this list. Every fall allows me to taste just that little bit more of the last meal i ate and for that i think 3kliksphilip should be praised!

This game does have flaws though and the presentation is one of those; the menus are poorly constructed and their technicality is by no means a match for the quality of the actual game engine. The only thing i do like is the main menu picture - a man falling down the tower. The crudeness of the picture may look cruddy to some, yet to me has a certain amount of personality few others are able to apply to their games.

The game is fairly simple in concept. Players must guide a man in a Ned Flanders-esque green jumper/sweater (delete as applicable depending whether you are British/American) through 15 levels spread over 3 chapters, and these levels are all based upon using platforms pretruding from the side of a large tower in order to reach the end-flag. Bog-standard, you may think. But you'd be wrong! The game takes a surprise twist when you realise that the whole environment is pseudo-3D. Ingenius coding gives each tower and platform a 3-dimensional look and judging jumps becomes all the more difficult as platforms appear to change shape and approach more quickly as the player gets closer to them. This isn't annoying though as you realise you are playing this game as you would any normal 2D game. It's only once you adjust your playing style to compensate for the extra dimension that you begin to make those jumps land. If this isn't enough of a challenge then it's also worth noting that a fairly tight time-limit adds extra pressure to each stage. Often you must think lateral in terms of which direction you chose to take - the longest route is often the only one you can finish the level with within the time limit. Some levels (though not enough, in this reviewer's opinion) require as much thinking as they do playing.

The 3D-style towers and platforms look beautiful - each brick appears to move around as you move left or right and there appears to be a really nice light source hitting the tower. Unfortunately the Ned-wanna-be does not look so great all of the time; his flat likeness does not fit in with the pretty backdrop and this is a little bit of a shame. The whole thing looks a little detached or 'stuck-on'. Pity. Another bug-bear is the poor animation when you die. As much as i like the idea of blood splashing out of his cranium when he runs out of time, the animation of the blood is pre-drawn and looks completely unnatural. The same animation is used again when you fall off a platform and doesn't fit the situation at all. A cool animation of him griping for thin air, as depicted on the main menu, would have been much better! Still though, the tower looks fantastic!

So you fall off the tower and there's no more platform. It's a long way down so i guess it's time to scream, eh? Wrong! Ned isn't afraid of heights, or death, so there's no need to scream. A nice blood-curdling scream would have complimented the situation lovely and it's a shame 3kliksphilip didn't give it more thought. There is nothing to accompany Ned's jumping - a grunt-style sound effect would have certainly fitted the game. It's not here though. On the plus side the music is wonderfully composed. Though a little repetitive, a newer and much more up-beat track accompanies the player over the second chapter. This is nice work and another great addition to the game.

15 levels with strict time limits adds life to Don't Look Down and this is certainly helped by the 'one more go' factor. Missing the flag by a second or two on many of the stages is an often occurance and one that makes you think 'i know i can do this, i'll do it this time' - a great job has been done on making this game challenging yet not unfair or impossible. Good move!

Don't Look Down is a great technical marvel let down only by a few misses in the visual and audio department. However, if you are looking for a platform game like no other and a challenge that is fair then hit the download link......................... now!

Sound and Music:

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Posted by 3kliksphilip 17th October, 2008

Ooh you commented on the music. Thanks!

Just a bit of information: The person was just ripped out of another game I had made. I got fed up of giving people brown hair so I scrapped hair altogether and gave him glasses, not to make him look cool, but just... to be different. It doesn't really fit in with the game and this whole 'game' was just a tech demo to see if it could be done.

Thank you for your review. I might make a much better sequel some time.
Posted by Marko 17th October, 2008

I thought it was much more than a tech demo, intentionally or not. Overall i liked the game alot and i defo hope you make a full length feature sequel!
Posted by 3kliksphilip 27th October, 2008

Oh I'm not just happy with making tech demos, I always go off on a tangent. But that's what it was showcasing.


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