Ah, Manos the Hands of Fate. I'm sure you've heard of the infamous movie, and if you haven't, it's considered to be one of the worst films of all time. Freakzone games released their tongue-in cheek tie-in to the movie in tribute to bad movies and old Nintendo games, but the question is: can a game tie-in to a terrible movie be any fun?
This game is a tribute to retro platformers of old, with chiptune music, pixel art and the like. But is the game enjoyable? Well, if you're looking for a quick retro blast the past on your mobile device, I'd say it is.
It doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the platforming genre, but what it does have is done well; you'll play through various levels, using the normal control set-up for iOS platformers, with a d-pad for moving left and right on the bottom left of the screen, and buttons to jump and fire on the bottom right of the screen. These controls work very well considering you're playing on a glass screen.
You start with 5 lives and you can collect extra lives and increase your max health through the levels, but if you lose all your lives, it's game over and you have to start all over, just like in old Nintendo games. Good times!
However, levels get difficult pretty quickly, so things could get a little frustrating for platformer novices if you die too many times and have to restart from the beginning. There are collectable "hands" that you can find hidden in each level for extra replay value, and each level ends with a mini-boss or a larger, tougher boss.
Graphics & Sound
Graphics in Manos are decent retro-style pixel art which fit in just fine with the game's retro theme, I like the small tidbits of detail, for example, one of the enemies being a couple making in a car with the guy throwing beer bottles at you made me chuckle.
The music and sound effects brought me back to the days of Nintendo games, complete with chiptunes and bleeps and bloops for the sound effects.
Manos: The Hands of Fate is a good retro platformer, which doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the platformer genre, but it's fun ride nonetheless. I wouldn't say it's for everybody either, as the difficulty in some levels might turn off the more casual gamer, but if you're looking for a platformer with tough levels and solid controls, this is for you.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -3.5- Simple pixel art reminiscent of classic NES game. Sound: -3.5- Like the graphics, the chiptune soundtrack harkens back to the days of old.. Controls: -4- Virtual d-pads and buttons don't get much better than this. Gameplay: -4- Fun platformer with hard levels and tongue-in-cheek humor.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Always be on the lookout for the collectible "hands" in each level!