Achievement unlocked for reading the title.
When a game is subject to massive amounts of Twitter hype I am always a little wary to pick it up. However it is also the best way to get clicks on these articles so I figured I would whore my soul and Try scramble. Read to the end for a bonus drunk review.
I had been seeing things about this game for a few weeks leading up to the release, so upon its arrival I had a feeling I would review it. I missed the stream launch so I went in with very little idea of what I was getting myself in to, so lets just get right into it. Read on to the end for your chance to win a copy of the game.
- Title: Scramble.
- Released: March 2022.
- Platform: PC and Mac.
- Price: $16.48
- Publisher: Steven D (@stevo399 on twitter)
- Developer’s Website: stevend.net
- AG.net game thread
This game is remarkably simple but does have a fair bit going on.
You run around a big open area. At the south side of the map a pit will form and slowly consume the field giving you less and less area to run around on.
Your goal should you choose to accept it is to collect as many points as possible. On the map apart from the ever expanding pit you will find points just laying about doing nothing. You can also find platforms on which bonus points worth up to 5 can spawn.
The platforms are loaded with cannons and rock throwers which will attempt to stop you getting points. The platforms also can load power ups. More on those a little later. In certain game modes you will also find cannons on the ground.
Jump the cannon balls and dodge the rocks. In the end you have to get as many points as possible before either the pit expands to the top of the map or your health reaches 0.
Sounds simple right? Think again.
Audio Demo Of The Game
If words are too hard here’s an audio demo of the menu, options, and some game play.
Documentation and Tutorial
It is so important for games to have good documentation that can help players out. And Steven D nailed it with this game. The documentation isn’t too long, but gives you any and all info you could need to get started.
Now I have a confession here. Originally when I started playing I didn’t try the tutorial and this was a mistake. I found myself getting smashed early on by certain obstacles and getting more and more frustrated when I couldn’t work out why.
Then I went back and tried the tutorial. After a few minutes I had a much better understanding of the way the cannons work. suddenly my scores doubled or even tripled so if you do try this game. Read the documentation and play the tutorial kids.
I can’t stress how nice it is to have a game with good documentation and a short and helpful tutorial.
Simple controls for a simple game and that is what you get. Arrow keys to move around. you can also you use A, S, D and W as well. page up and down or F and R to climb up and down ladders. space or enter to jump. E and Q to turn. Any other keys are simply to check info during the game or pause.
This game may have simple controls but they work perfectly fine. You can hold down 2 keys at the same time to run on diagonals. Other than that you will find your self running in mostly straight lines.
I will admit I didn’t really find the need to do allot of turning. However at the time of writing this review I haven’t unlocked the final game mode yet, and the documentation does say that turning is more useful in that mode.
I did have a go at running around turning instead of just running in the different directions for the sake of this review. The system works just as well, and you could use either if you are so inclined.
So this game has a hole bunch of things you can get as special items. These load on platforms exclusively unless the platforms are all gone (consumed by the pit). after that point they can spawn on the ground.
They can be positive things like speed boosts or expanding the map.
They can also be negative things like extra cannons or speeding up the rate of the pit.
At first I tried to avoid these. just collecting points. It wasn’t until I realized how much help they could be that I started really pushing for them.
These things do ad a fun element to the game while also being risky to go for. Nothing like accidentally jumping off a platform and loosing a bunch of health all in the name of speeding up the dam pit.
Yes you can jump off the platforms, and yes I did do this many times.
As the aim of the game is to get the highest score possible these power ups end up being incredibly important to maximizing your final score, But if you want to get these you are going to have to get past several obstacles.
So in this game you will be faced with 3 main obstacles.
The pit: This is always expanding from the south side. It is the biggest and most inevitable threat. Since no matter what you do to avoid all other obstacle the pit will catch you in the end. I would have liked to have seen this perhaps switched up a little more. Either with game modes in which the pit comes at you from different directions or maybe even from multiple directions. However as threats go, a pit that you can not avoid forever is pretty horrifying.
Rock Throwers: These are up in the air and chuck rocks down at you. They will try and stop you getting up on to the platforms but once you are on the ladder you are safe from them. At least until you climb back down.
Cannons: Depending on the game mode these might just be on the platforms or they might be on the ground as well. These fire cannon balls which you need to remember to jump. And you really need to remember to jump because they hurt! I would like to say I think these are pretty easy to avoid by jumping. But honestly it can be tricky to remember to jump while trying to get bonuses and avoid rocks and what ever else.
The truth is on their own none of these obstacles are too difficult to avoid, but that is why this game is called Scramble. You aren’t avoiding just 1 you are avoiding all and it makes it quite challenging. Especially in certain game modes when you have lots of them including the dam ground cannons.
When you first purchase this game you have just a single normal mode of game play. However 1 of the things I do really like about this game and that it gives you to work for is more game modes to unlock.
The points you get for badges and each round played are used To unlock the different game modes. I Am not going to sit here and go through each game mode individually for 2 reasons. The first is that I don’t need to explain what they all are in detail as this is clearly outlined in the documentation that comes with the game. The second is that I haven’t actually unlocked them all. I know bad Hannibal. But seriously some of them are expensive.
I could have smashed out the points needed and unlocked them all, but I don’t think I need to for this review. 1 of the things I love in games is something to work for, and this game gave it to me in the form of the modes I can unlock.
The basic concept however is that each game mode gives you something a little different. This might mean more enemies, different sized map, more bonuses or no platforms or some combination of these. The cost of these game modes will also mean you are unlocking things for a little while. Assuming you don’t just play for days on end.
2 other game modes can be played in a slightly different way. Insanity is played by grabbing a power up in rigged mode. While a bonus mini game can be collected in the rigged mode after a certain series of events happen. However to avoid spoilers I will say nothing more here.
To get all these game modes you are going to need a lot of points. You will get the bulk of these playing the games but you will also get plenty from badges so lets talk about those.
Badges are the Scramble name for achievements. However it makes more sense to call them badges as you get them for everything! From opening the game for the first time to getting lots of points in a single round.
Now these to me are a good and bad thing. I do hate it when you get badges for literally everything including opening the game for the first time. However the fact you get points for these badges which help you unlock things does mean I end up on the fence about them. They are silly and some are fun to get so I won’t complain too much. Also free points right?
sound and music
The music can be turned off everyone. Seriously this is the most important thing to me.
Ok that isn’t entirely true. In the main game you can turn it up and down or off. In the main menu it stays, but the ability to turn it off while playing is fantastic and I will stand by this is a tick in this games favor.
For the most part I don’t have anything too bad to say about the sounds. Sounds are obviously incredibly important in audio games and these are relatively well done. they are simple and well balanced, and that is the most important thing you could ask for.
Issues and bugs
Actually I have to admit I really didn’t run in to many bugs with this game. Early on it did crash a few times, however this does seem to have been fixed with the first up date after I purchased the game. So on that front I have to say well done!
Really my biggest gripe with this game is the lack of options for certain things.
No in-game volume controls is a bit of a let down for me. I feel it is important to have The ability to adjust volume on the fly especially with a game like this where the menu is significantly quieter then the in-game volume, But it isn’t a deal breaker.
Also you can’t really adjust anything. The ability to adjust for example the pitch of objects behind you might have been nice. Also customizable keyboard controls but now I am just nit picking.
As far as the functionality of the game goes, it all works good.
Update: Monday March 14th 2022.
A new patch for the game has included the ability to adjust the volume from with in the game, as well as being able to adjust the pitch of objects behind you.
I really hate talking about price on a game like this. However I really feel I have to.
The thing is you can look at the price of a game in 2 ways. You can look at how much you are willing to spend to support the developer, or how much the game in question is actually worth to you.
Honestly this game is very simple and for me personally I can only play it for so long at any given time. Sure it is fun and the rounds are short, But there just isn’t that much to it other then varying levels of difficulty.
On the other hand I know someone had to put there time in to make it. I have Nothing against Steven D and I have enjoyed my time on this game. So while I think the price is a touch steep, I also don’t feel like money was wasted here.
I think a 10 dollar price range would have been better. However I also think that if you like the sound of this game and have the 16 dollars just burning a hole in your pocket. I wouldn’t let the price tag chase you away.
over all rating
This game is good. It is simple and perhaps a little bit expensive for what it is, but On the other hand it is fun, addictive and will keep you entertained for a while. I myself have clocked up several hours of play in the 4 days since I bought it.
It is exactly what it is advertised to be and what it claims to be it does well.
8.5 out of 10.
If you read through all of my words and have decided you would love to try this game but don’t want to pay for it…lucky you cause you can do just that.
Note: the winner will be drawn live on stream on the 19th of March at 4:30pm eastern, and also sent a DM on Twitter.
The winner was drawn and @_JohannTan has been sent their copy of the game.
Bonus Drunk Review
So before you read this next little section I will tell you that I was drinking a few days after I bought this game. For what ever reason I felt the need to write down my drunken thoughts. I was originally going to just delete them and pretend that didn’t happen. But for fun I thought I would leave them in. Enjoy the ramblings of the drunken Kangaroo playing Scramble.
I don’t think I like this game. It is so not accessible for the drunk. Like maybe a drunk mode would be better with no pit. or perhaps more bonuses and less pit.
Also climbing the ladders is hard can’t I just sort of walk around them a few times and get the stuff on the platforms?
Wait I had it on the insane mode I put it back to normal and this is much more peaceful. Oh shit I just died I probably should have waited until the round ended to write this down.
Ok so a few suggestions for the developer.
1: First off better sounds for bonuses behind you, I am way to drunk to be dealing with a slight pitch decrease.
2: That pit needs to chill the fuck out. It is moving way to fast.
3: I am pretty sure I got stuck in the options menu and I am not sure how, I refuse to believe this was my fault. Sober me back me up.
Note from sober me: He was drunk absolutely his fault.
4: Can we have bridges from platform to platform. Going back to the ground is scary. Actually being on the platforms is scary. Hey sober me, unlock flat scramble you lazy fuck!
Wait sober me hasn’t put a rating yet. 14 out of 19, would buy again. But probably won’t.
note 2: I have no idea if I meant out of 10 or 20. I assume that wasn’t meant to be 19.
Have you played Scramble? What did you think?
Are you ready for fast paced action the likes of which has rarely been seen before? Are you ready for round after addicting round of intense, high speed, and riveting chaos? Are you ready… to Scramble?
Welcome to the latest arcade title from Steven D, developing under the name Stevo! Race against the clock of impending doom to accumulate the highest score possible and leave a legacy of respect by showing up everyone on the scoreboards!
Collect items, avoid high speed cannon balls and lethal flying bricks, and Scramble to grab as many items as you can, all while avoiding a merciless, rapidly expanding pit that threatens to eventually consume everything in its path without yield or consideration! Fight intense battles for just a few more seconds to struggle to beat your high score as the odds stack higher and higher against you! Run, jump, and climb your way to success! This, and more, is what you’ll be doing, as you climb the ranks in the world of Scramble.
Unlock various game modes to provide new, exciting opportunities to challenge your skills like never before! Show your reflexive, attentive, and strategical prowess by boasting your greatest accomplishments on the scoreboard, complete with detailed statistical logs so everyone can see just how skilled you really are! Discover tens of badges and achievements for every good thing you do and every mistake you make. Challenge yourself to do better, and keep track of your progress with comprehensive stats systems, and local score listings for each variation! And finally, if you’re really up for it, unlock the obscure mini game, and prove to us all that you can succeed in diversely hellish environments. This, and more, is what you will get with Scramble, resulting in countless hours of addicting fun!
Playing the game.