Up The Wall – Frustration, Then Welcoming Fun | Appolicious mobile apps

Up The Wall – Frustration, Then Welcoming Fun

Jun 17, 2017
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Up The Wall is a fast moving, surprisingly iridescent platformer dedicated to an immense amount of flashing lights, jukebox music and falling to your death.

Each level you pick a new character and associated challenge from a conveyer belt and are then thrust into a continuous platform with obstacles. Swiping left or right to maneuver obstacles seems simple enough, but the difficulty is compounded by the fact that the terrain slopes left, right and even up, forcing you to shift your perspective continuously to avoid dying horribly and suddenly.

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Continuous jumps and quick movement means that you always trying to move your head or your phone around to be able to get the correct perspective, only to invariably get confused and either drop your phone or die horribly.

The entire ascetic seems to be built around somehow inserting a platformer into a rave. Jostling music, strobe lighting and an overall sensation of panic follows you constantly as you attempt to avoid the myriad of obstacles, whether they are large sections of terrain or actual rabid animals.

an overall sensation of panic follows you constantly as you attempt to avoid the myriad of obstacles, whether they are large sections of terrain or actual rabid animals.

The entire experience does feel confusing, however. It’s a pretty simple platformer, but the incorporation of intensely insane music, as well as the very strange choice of picking your level using a randomizing claw like an arcade, makes the actual gameplay jarring. You are shunted from one challenge to the next, forced to repeat levels endlessly due to the intense difficulty. It feels like something new is constantly being thrown at you, yet you are still having to do the same thing over and over again.

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However, once you get to grips with the forced perspective changes and the intense speed, Up The Wall opens its arms and welcomes you into the land of fun. It is strange to find a game that presents you with an immediate hurdle of frustration but then finally rewards you with actual fun.

The gameplay picks up, becoming fast-paced exhilaration rather than mindless frustration. You are moving near constantly, whether from platform to platform or from level to level. As long as you stick with it, Up The Wall becomes a surprisingly exhilarating way to spend 15 minutes on your phone.

As long as you stick with it, Up The Wall becomes a surprisingly exhilarating way to spend 15 minutes on your phone.

This inherent sense of fun is supported by the excellent controls; too often, mobile games will tout simplicity in its design but the controls will remain insanely obtuse. The only difficulty in Up the Wall’s controls is timing your left or right swipes in time with a surprise obstacle.

When jumping between platforms, you will frequently miss the mark by a single block, requiring you to reposition yourself quickly to avoid a depressingly long fall into the unknown. This keeps the controls fresh – anyone watching you play Up The Wall will see you peacefully swiping, only to then very suddenly swipe vigorously on your phone for a few seconds, then back to placid swiping.

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Besides the implicit risk of looking like a lunatic in public, Up The Wall is a fun experiment in platforming. It turns an old concept on its head using forced perspectives and clubbing music to create a uniquely different game from the norm.

The app is available on Android and iPhone.

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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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