Red Bros: A Zelda-Inspired Point-and-Click Puzzler

May 24, 2017
Adventure

The ease at which you can pick up and play mobile games is undoubtedly why they’re so popular. In fact, most games feature such simple gameplay that players don’t even consider it a ‘game’ in the same way that console and PC games are. Candy Crush, Flappy Bird, Super Mario Run; they all have one major feature in common: it takes just one tap of a finger or thumb to play them. PLAYHARD takes advantage of the simplicity of mobile gaming with Red Bros, but includes enough unique worlds for it to feel more than the sum of its parts.

Taking control of a small army of round-headed soldiers, your goal in Red Bros is to make it out of each dungeon alive. Beginning with a set of central characters – three at the start of your journey – you control the position they move to, the objects they come into contact with, and the enemies they defeat. Like a flock of sheep, your soldiers will follow wherever your finger presses, and attack whatever gets in their way. As you progress further into the dungeon you’ll come across moving cages; destroying them will result in other character appearing and joining your team. A larger army won’t only mean more firepower when faced with enemies, but will also allow you to solve the puzzles that the dungeon throws at you. These puzzles range from having to defeat every enemy in the room to lining up your soldier so that they each press certain buttons at the same time. Once you’ve solved the mysteries and explored every part of the dungeon, a boss will be waiting with its minions for one final show down. Defeat it and you and your warriors can escape.

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Each dungeon comes with a rating out of three stars, determined by how many missions you complete. One star may be rewarded for escaping the dungeon with anyone alive, another for killing a certain amount of monsters, and a third for completing the dungeon within a certain amount of time. Once you reach a certain number of stars you level up, which gives you access to further stages. To be able to complete these more difficult missions you’ll need to improve your army, though. By defeating enemies, finding loot, and escaping dungeons you’ll be awarded gold coins, which can be used to purchase new soldiers. If they have better stats than your previous heroes then swap them over, and you’ll be better equipped to take on the more difficult bosses.

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The mechanics of Red Bros are cleverly done: in requiring just one press the game is so easy to play, but the developer has integrated this key feature with the gameplay, and made the timing of your touch essential to solving certain puzzles. It’s a great example of creating within your means, and shows how some of the most seemingly simple games can in fact be quite complex. The whole dungeon system in which solving puzzles and defeating enemies unlocks doors is reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which is one of the highest compliments a game can receive.

Even as you progress further into the game, the variation of each stage is evident.

Even as you progress further into the game, the variation of each stage is evident. New power-ups to help you defeat enemies, unique puzzles, and different objects are introduced, each one giving you a new challenge and way to get around it. Once you complete a chapter, usually consisting of five or six levels, the next will bring with it a fresh location, ranging from Ancient Egypt to an iced-over environment. With 120 heroes to collect in total as well, Red Bros offers you an array of collectable characters with which to explore every unique dungeon.

Its blend of puzzle and action is what makes Red Bros both interesting and exciting in equal measure: It asks you to defeat every enemy you come across whilst making you think about how to get there in the first place. Such a quality makes it difficult to fault.

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Redbros
Redbros
Developer: PlayHard.Lab
Price: Free+
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Chris Carr

A gamer ever since he owned Sonic on the Megadrive, Chris thinks that the only thing better than reading and writing about games is playing them

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