Wave Trip Review
Cart: Wave Trip
Coin: Lucky Frame
If you like simple but challenging games that combine effectively their gameplay and music, I’m sure that Wave Trip will be right up your speaker; a bright and engaging experience that is easy to learn, but very difficult to master.
You control a speaker that flies from left to right, collecting objects, multipliers and avoiding enemies. You also have a form of shield to clear enemies from your way that has to recharge between uses, with a maximum of two stored at one time.
The beauty of the game comes from each object making a sound as you collect or pass by, creating a musical backing that really absorbs you in what is happening on screen. The range of instruments and percussion sounds allow tunes to gradually build and fall in a manner very reminiscent of the delightful Electroplankton.
If you just collect the objects and go to the end, then the game will be over quickly. The real skill comes from collecting the multipliers first and then the objects, without hitting the enemies. As each section loops, you learn to complete them in two or three goes to try and get the maximum score.
Dodge, collect, dodge, dance, dodge, collect, dance. Wave Trip is fun.
Your first task is to get up to three ‘Tri’s’ (think stars) on each level, whilst the highest score from all users is displayed as a further challenge. It definitely has that ‘one more go’ factor.
The heart of the game is the brilliantly simple level creator, which makes creating a masterpiece of a level extremely easy. You can upload your tracks and quickly play either those of your friends, or those proving most popular with other players. The creation and sharing is so fast that it makes you want to keep trying new levels. Sadly though, with only five save slots available, you’ll have to keep deleting your old levels to make new ones.
The graphic art style is lovely, with simple background objects that fly past looking pretty without ever getting in the way of the action. The characters and collectables are simple but give the game a charm all of its own.
Wave Trip is certainly fun to play, though very unforgiving. It pushes you to be precise and accurate and to take risks to get a higher score. There is definitely a feeling of real achievement when you negotiate a tricky section with maximum points. The moments where you fly through a great level while it generates an atmospheric soundtrack are wonderful.
My only real gripe with the gameplay is that sometimes anticipating the timing of your shield is difficult, leading to moments where you lose a multiplier by expecting it to have recharged a fraction too early. However, the simplicity and character of the game, combined with the absorbing audio and great level editor, mean Wave Trip will make you smile far more than it will frown.
The art of making a level that works both musically and as a game level is surprisingly, but pleasantly challenging.
The presentation, whilst clean and user friendly, doesn’t quite translate the character and colour of the game itself. It takes you out of the world rather than absorb you in it, with no unlocking of levels or even a message to say ‘well done’ for finishing each section. The introduction explains the basics, but it took a while to figure out how the multiplier works and how it cuts out. I also get the feeling it was tested on an iPad as hitting the colour select on the level editor is remarkably difficult on an smaller screen.
I do get the feeling that Wave Trip could have been even better too. There are only 20 included levels, and while the focus is really on the level creator, the quality of user generated levels right now is mixed (although the best levels are well worth finding). The limit of five user levels seems very restrictive given the tiny size that they take up and I hope that an update will fix this.
That said, you shouldn’t let what Wave Trip is not distract you from what it is: a highly enjoyable game, that manages (on the very best levels) to be more than a bit beautiful. It’s by no means perfect, but well worth £1.49. Besides, those flaws are just fuel for a bigger, better sequel.
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Rob is an advertising strategist and author of 'The Ad Pit' blog. Rob has been playing games for 25 years - which makes him feel very old. He used to have a victory ratio of 40:1 in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, but that was a long time ago! #dogyears