Welcome back for another episode of our little
indie spotlight, where we take a look at some of the lesser known games in the App Store.
Tonight, we’re taking a look at Alcatrapz from Zack Banack. Zack previously impressed
me with his endless flyer Jtpck – a retro remix on the Jetpack Joyride formula. Alcatrapz tasks you with the very simple task
of escaping from Alcatraz. To do this, all you need to do is ascend a giant pipe by bouncing
from side to side while avoiding the rising water below. This style of game certainly
isn’t new to the App Store. What makes this game different is that the pipe is filled
to the brim with traps. This makes your ascent incredibly difficult. Speaking of difficulty, I spoke with Zack
a little while ago on the matter. He assured me that the difficulty was being tweaked in
an upcoming patch. After the update hit, I jumped back in and… couldn’t really tell
the difference. Alcatrapz is designed to be hard, but not hard in a frustrating way. You’re
going to die, guaranteed. The question is how long you can hold out before meeting your
end. The good news is that you never really feel like you’re being cheated and there’s
a solid, but slow sense of progression when it comes to collecting the in-game currency. The controls are very simple. You tap the
screen to jump to the other side of the pipe. The longer you tap, the higher your jump.
You’ll quickly get the hang of jumping from side to side and avoiding obstacles. Along
the way, you’ll collect powerups that can significantly change the course of action.
Things like jetpacks that carry you a great distance, rockets that take out the traps
before you get to them and magnets – the endless runner staple. Zack’s wonderful style of pixel art comes
back in full force. Everything has been simplified, from the character models to the traps, the
whole game carries with it a very low-fi vibe. It’s quite reminiscent of McPixel in this
regard. Actually, while we’re on the subject, Alcatrapz
seems to take inspiration in the audio department as well. There’s something very comical about
the way your character jumps and the music fits perfectly. Of course, it doesn’t help
that a flying shark is one of the traps along the way! Alcatrapz is very fun, and I seem to be going
back to it often whenever I get a spare moment to play. It’ll cost you $0.99 in the App Store
and is universal, so will run on both iPhone and iPad. Thank you for joining me for this quick look
at Alcatrapz. Don’t forget to subscribe for reviews of new and upcoming mobile games.
This has been Alex for Game Mob. That’s www.gamemob.com