King Rupert for iPhone is a laid-back gaming experience

Jan 21, 2011
Games

King Rupert doesn’t look like a retro app game. It has sparkling graphics and a disembodied head as a lead character, both of which were hard to find back in the ’80s gaming scene. That said, it absolutely plays like one. Your character, King Rupert’s head (on a valiant search to vanquish an evil wizard […]

King Rupert doesn’t look like a retro app game. It has sparkling graphics and a disembodied head as a lead character, both of which were hard to find back in the ’80s gaming scene. That said, it absolutely plays like one.

Your character, King Rupert’s head (on a valiant search to vanquish an evil wizard and get the rest of his body back) has no weapons. He has only a short jump, a long jump and a lot of moxie. Having no weapons, it’s not too surprising that enemies don’t exactly come at you with fury. There are spikes you can land on, and projectile throwing baddies, but this is as docile a gameworld as I can remember.

In fact, King Rupert reminds me of a retooled Donkey Kong. Each compartmentalized level sees Rupert attempting to collect coins, but really the goal is to make it to the end of each level. Collecting more coins gives you a better medal score, but it’s not the reason you’re playing.

This makes for a bit of a unique gaming experience. With so many modern games focused on beating the player’s brains in, it’s a bit disarming to play a game at your own speed. If not entirely perfect, it’s at least something different.

Where King Rupert will either hook or lose players is probably with the control scheme. Players control Rupert by tilting their iPhone to the left or right. It feels a bit floaty, but given that you control a floating head, perhaps the developers have achieved exactly what they had in mind.

King Rupert is probably not going to wow hardcore gamers who want a more immediately challenging game, but the throwback platforming action should find a niche with someone who was looking for a more laid-back experience.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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