Being an AppFreak like me has its highs and lows. I get to review all sort of apps and games, but only a handful deserve a instant five star rating. This game has a number of elements that have made an app successful in the past: A self explanatory catchy name, use of iPhone accelerometer, dead simple gameplay and some retro feel to it. It took me some minutes to set it to my own taste and now I recognise I haven't been this addicted to a game like this for the last weeks.
Tilt to Live [iTunes Link] by One Man Left is a 2D survival game where you have to avoid being touched by the enemies as long you can to avoid, inevitably, death. The game is controlled by tilting the device, using the built-in accelerometer to indicate where to move. Tilt to Live doesn't use the touch controls during the gameplay, meaning that you can't fire up a weapon, for example. However, you can collect power-ups and weapons to resist the constant attacks from the enemy.
The game arena is limited to the iPhone screen size, so you won't need to scroll over to see parts of the scenario. If you direct your arrow to the edge of the screen, it will bump into it like an unbreakable wall. Having a full view of the action allows to separate the iPhone from the body, situating it farther than usual two-thumb controlled games. The developer has taken care to offer different tilting options, including a custom one. It took me some time to find the good one for me: The custom gave the best results.
Tilt to Live has a frenetic game mechanic, as you would have assumed from its name. Enemies in from of red dots will appear in the screen to slowly wake up and star harassing you. They're really naughty. As the game progresses, the screen will be filled with red dots, that will join they efforts and evolve into a bigger and faster enemy. I found this a very good part of the game since the new enemies are very well thought out, wacky and fun. The pace and progressing stress level is good. You can see in the video below how the red dots create huge arrows or even transform into the old school Pong game.
The weapons offered are varied and add incredible value to the game strategy. Only after you learn how to use them and combine their effects you can start earning points on your kill score. The most complex strategieswill be awarded by the game, earning you bonuses and higher scores. At the early stages I like to be followed by many red dots to blast them with the red weapon. In higher levels I like to wait for the red dots to create a compact shape and shoot them with the purple wave. In desperate situations I use the freezing weapon to paralise enemies around me and them blast them and scape to a safer area.
On a lower note are some small characteristics of early app versions. The game doesn't include any other game mode, leaving you to tilt to survive only. I wonder how a free play mode could be. The graphic aspect is just correct and will not wow you with it's in-game effects. The animations are fine: Simplicity makes games playable. I have the feeling that everything was kept to a minimum to avoid cluttering the whole thing. The music does get repetitive. Why not accessing the iPod library? The game cries for a story or a plot that would have added to the experience. Where only left with the loading screen messages (make sure you check them out.
Tilt to Live is a quick thinking tilt game really really fun to play. I love the fact that the game controls have been super-simplified. It leaves me with the wonderful sensation of accelerating tilting the iPhone. Definitely recommended for any hardcore or casual iPhone gamer.