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Review: Meganoid for Android


One of the things I’ve enjoyed about my new Atrix is the ability to play more games at full blast, so to speak. There’s a distinct difference between my overclocked-to-hell-and-back Milestone and this dual-cored beast, and it really shows when you run some apps. Meganoid, however, is a game that works amazingly well no matter what phone you have. A mix of old-school platforming and new-school mechanics, this OrangePixel offering is quite impressive.

The premise is simple: your character “Hero” must traverse a number of increasingly-difficult levels, collect gems and avoid the numerous one-hit-kill hazards that stand between him and the level’s end. As you play through the levels, medals are given at the end of each based on how many gems you collect and whether you beat the level’s timer or not. It’s very similar to games like Super Meat Boy or VVVVVV; simple mechanics, but a difficulty that ramps up quickly to keep you hooked.  

The Hero can double jump and pick up crates to throw at aliens; that seems to be the extent of his skill set. Everything else is left up to the player to see whether he survives or not. This, however, is kept relatively non-frustrating by the slick controls at your disposal. The game has a number of control schemes, including on-screen buttons (my preference) and tilt controls. I haven’t been able to get my hands on a WiiMote to test out its remote controller functionality, but I can imagine it adds a new layer to the “old school” gaming feel. I’ll definitely be trying this out as soon as I can.

While this might seem weird to say, the game feels very complete. The controls work amazingly well, and are easy to pick up. The challenges are laid out well, and feel rewarding to achieve: beating the timer and getting all the gems for a level unlocks the “Sarge” version of that level, where you play as a different sprite but in a drastically more difficult layout. This is similar to the “Dark World” of Super Meat Boy in the sense that gamers who don’t want to play the levels can skip over them entirely, but the masochists in us can try them out if we want. There is also OpenFeint support for those who like those shiny achievements, but I usually skip over them.

I only have a couple complaints about this game, and they’re related to the mechanics. For instance, you only have a three life limit for each play session: if you die three times quickly, it’s back to the main menu for you. For particularly hard levels, this is frustrating; other games that can kill you instantly at least have the courtesy to let you spawn infinitely. Another quirk is that the countdown timer does not reset when you die; if you’re hoping to beat the time on particularly difficult levels, you better hope to get them done on your first try. While this doesn’t seem major, it kind of punishes players who want to meet that goal and die.

Otherwise, I can’t really find a reason to not recommend this game. It plays well and all the parts fit together nicely; it even wins some points from me because there doesn’t seem to be an iOS port. I feel that there isn’t enough Android-exclusive games with polish in the Marketplace, and hopefully Meganoid will inspire some developers to step up in terms of quality.

Meganoid is a free download in the Android Marketplace.

Matt Demers is Droid Life’s app guy and is surprised how often he picks this up just to play a level or two. If you like his work, you can find him on Twitter and check out his portfolio.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/nanncy.sarah nancy sarah

    iPhone is an amazing product with lots of features and lots of best android apps which can suit your lifestyle and help you to make your life much easier. And best iphone apps and best android apps are very very toughest work in these days Because there are thousands of application Launching everyday for Iphone and HTC android apps so you put your idea or if you want to envest some money we will promote both sides your idea plus your money convert into iphone or android apps . we ensure you maximum percentage of profit with us.

  • Haneyg

    I have this on my rooted NookColor, and it’s awesome. Way more entertaining than AngryBirds, but I am the generation raised on the original NES. :)

  • Mr.Joe

    We approve of this. We wish to see Matt Demers write something every day.

    Plz and thx.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Working on it as my schedule dictates. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Darren-Howard-Brooke/1457958012 Darren Howard Brooke

    I like seeing more of these app reviews here… it reminds me more of what DL used to be before all the new device rumors and whatnot.

    • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

      Funny..ever since the TBolt finally got released, I haven’t seen that many rumor posts in awhile.

  • Anonymous

    Never had a bunch on games on my DX until recently. Now, DL gives me a new game a day to download.

  • Bucho2k

    Game graphics seem to be getting better on Android. Hahaha.

    • John

      go play air attach hd, fun game & looks good too

      • Bucho2k

        Nahhhh, I’ll stick to the more dominant games on iOS on the iPhone.

        • John

          a troll will do what a troll does best

        • John

          a troll will do what a troll does best

  • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

    F’n great. Another game, another dollar(it’s a free game, but you know what I mean…). When will it stop?!?!?!

    I am inclined to download this game. I must. There is no other way.

    Thanks a lot, Matt! lol

    Also, thanks for the really detailed review. Sweet!

  • Bur

    Lol @ targeted dating ad.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah; seems Matt’s been doing some browsing on his Android that’s in line with the “lonely guy” demographic, if you know what I mean . . .

  • Dan

    Does the app let you set up controls using a Game Gripper (aka using buttons on the physical keyboard for those of us with them)?

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Yup!

      • Calculatorwatch

        It seems to have the Game Gripper keys wrong on the OGD. It says S and F to move but actually sets it to A and S… hopefully they fix that.

  • Anonymous

    Single? Download the Zoosk App…….. I’m glad I rooted and installed a custom ROM

    • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

      Yeah, you know what…I’ve been noticing that. Some of my ad-supported games/apps are no longer ad-supported, like Angry Birds. I’m rooted and have a rom installed, and that must have been why there are no longer any ads infecting my games/apps. Interesting…

      • Anonymous

        Depends on the rom. Some rom makers block ads in their roms.

        • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

          Ahh, okay. That must have been it. I didn’t know this until I no longer seen any ads in Angry Birds.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Eh, devs need to make their money somehow.

      • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

        This is true. But I’d prefer to buy a game with no ads, rather than being infected with ads that cause my game to be laggy. Give me a game with no ads and I’ll gladly pay. Just sayin’..

  • Anonymous

    there is an app called “they need to be fed” it is kinda like super mario galaxy. it’s pretty cool.

    • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

      Have played that one, and is really fun!

  • Jay P

    Mario