Cycloid tries to be one of those artsy-fartsy Arkanoid clones that have sprung up all over every platform since Shatter hit.  It tries, and it fails.  God, how it fails.  It fails so badly that I want to give a tearful hug to its developer’s parents.  Cycloid is such an unmitigated disaster that I feel like this review should have a Red Cross donation box on it.

The blurb for it reads “Cycloid is original Arkanoid with realistic physics.”  Yea, maybe if you’re in fucking Wonderland.  The paddle isn’t really segmented like the traditional Pong/Breakout/Akranoid one, so when you hit the ball it goes wherever the hell it wants.  And usually it wants to go right past the paddle and into purgatory.  Perhaps it’s trying to escape being in this game.  Can’t blame it.

It doesn't look bad, but trust me, it plays bad. Really bad.

Worst of all is the controls.  Arkanoid clones really kind of need accurate movement.  They didn’t bother that bullshit here.  The analog stick’s only speed is “Speedy Gonzales on meth” while the trigger buttons are set to “Slowpoke Rodriguez on Valium.”  Finding a middle ground between the two is impossible, and thus so is the game.  Analog controls would have helped, but fuck that, who has time to code that when there are reruns of Family Guy on?

Assuming you can actually make a successful volley, the ball might bounce off the paddle and hit some of the blocks.  Whether those blocks register being hit is kind of up to chance.  Sometimes it just doesn’t do it.  Combine that with the fact that blocks can take multiple hits and you better cancel your weekend plans if you want to complete a stage.  Actually I’m just joking with you there.  You’ll be game-overed long before then.  Oh, and the play field is round, so this leads to humorous situations where the balls hugs the wall and the paddle before finally saying “fuck it” and passing right through the paddle and into death.  Perhaps a satirical view of letting go late in life and embracing euthanasia while your family fights to keep you alive, but more likely just a really badly programmed game.

There’s also items that you can pick up.  Kind of.  If an item touches the front of the paddle, it just sits there bouncing up and down like it’s having a pout.  You have to wait for it to reach the outside ring before you can get it.  Naturally!  I mean everything else was poorly conceived so why not fuck up the most no-brainer aspect of the game while you’re at it?  As for the items, there’s one that makes it so you can’t break any blocks for thirty seconds.  There’s no benefit to it, it’s just there to be a dick move.  You didn’t have to bother guys.  This whole game is a colossal dick move without it.

I don’t want to pull a Comic Book Guy and call Cycloid the worst game ever, but it ranks.  It ranks way up there.  Or way down there depending on how you look at it.  It replaces Ace of Dynamites as the worst Xbox Live Indie Game I’ve played thus far, and it does so by a very comfortable margin.  If you wish you can recreate the pain I felt playing it in a safer way by tilting your head backwards and dumping soda down your nostrils.

Cycloid was developed by Jack Spektor

80 Microsoft Points tried to remember the good old days before they were used on Cycloid in the making of this review.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

One Response to Cycloid

  1. Pingback: Convict Minigames « Indie Gamer Chick

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