Tiny Comet is the latest release from development studio CatfishBlues Games, the same people who brought us Hyperlight HD. If there is any studio that I trust to create a tilt controlled experience that doesn’t frustrate me, it’s this one. This latest release makes use of simple yet fun gameplay and gorgeous visuals powered by the Unity engine.
You play as a tiny comet that gets separated from its herd, or whatever it is comets travel in, and all you want to do is reunite with your friends and family. To do that, you’ll have to soar all around the Earth, through forests and jungles and over oceans and mountains, collecting as much sun energy as possible to eventually escape the gravitational pull of the Earth. You control the game by simply tilting forwards and backwards, and you don’t even have to worry about tilting left and right. You’ll automatically fly to the right, and it’s up to you to avoid enemies and obstacles while keeping your energy up and beating the time limit.
Each level is split into three sections, and you have to pass each section in a certain amount of time. This can be challenging, as everything you touch, whether it’s an enemy, hazard, or even sun energy, it all slows you down a little. You’ll have to fight hard to resist that gamer urge to follow the trail of collectibles if you want to be successful. It’s better to avoid anything and everything, only dipping into the trail for three or four “energies” before moving back out. Along the way you’ll encounter dissolvable ice blocks, solid stone blocks, harmful spiked blocks, and many angry birds. You’ll also have to deal with bubbles that sap your power, though you can break them ahead of time with a simple tap, along with dark energies that confuse the comet and reverse the controls.
It’s not all danger and terror out there. There are also various power-ups, such as the flame power-up that lets you blast through enemies, the energy power-up that keeps your energy bar filled, the cannonball power-up that lets you plow through solid objects, and more. If you’re able to fly through a series of special rings that show up, you’ll go supernova, growing large enough to fill the screen and greatly increasing your speed, all while invincible.
The art style is absolutely out of this world. The backgrounds make use of layered 2-D images to create a great looking effect, and everything is vibrant and colorful, often making use of complementary colors. The soundtrack is very smooth and relaxing too. This game can get extremely hectic, and you’ll probably have to replay levels several times as you memorize their layouts and adjust your route accordingly. It can get pretty frustrating, and some levels are a little too challenging, but overall it’s a great game with top notch production values. OpenFeint achievements are also supported in this one dollar game, and there’s a free version to try out if you’re feeling unsure.