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Warp Review

Jodie Smith | 5 Mar 2012 21:00
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Despite what you might assume from his squishy, orange exterior, Warp 's alien hero, Zero , is a force to be reckoned with. After being captured by humans and taken to a lab for experiments, Zero escapes confinement with a score to settle. Through the use of stealth and puzzle solving, you'll help Zero navigate through the secret government lab and eventually to his freedom.

Your only advantage is Zero's short-range warp ability that can move him through thin walls and inside other objects, including humans. Along with the power to warp inside objects comes the capability to destroy the things he's inside, whether it's cracking open a canister or the lab's staff. Using these skills, you'll make your way through the labs toward other alien energy sources in order to gain new powers that will help you escape the increasingly difficult levels, like the longer range warp that lets you switch places with objects several feet from you or the skill to warp inside of objects and fire them across the room. The first is handy in puzzles where you are trying to power to a specific part of a lab, placing yourself on the area the power needs to be then switching places with a power canister in the next room. The latter is useful in shooting down power grids or firing a canister to block lasers. Other than the energy sources , you should also be on the hunt for other little gummy creatures called Grubs that Zero absolutely loves snacking on. The more grubs he finds, the more he'll be able to level up certain skills.

To facilitate the stealth and puzzle solving , Warp takes an isometric view with the camera . While this feature does let you see ahead into all the various rooms and plan out your strategy, the tilt of the camera creates blind spots where you can't completely see over all the walls. This adds another level of difficulty and makes you really scrutinize the layout since you could don't want to miss a canister you could hide in or a vent shaft that could lead you into the next area.

Along with the puzzles, there are also patrolling AI's to deal with, but they're not all that intelligent, so sneaking past them isn't that difficult. But be warned, while Zero can be a little bundle of death for the unwary guard or scientist, it only takes one shot to take him down. This leads us to the stealth aspect of the game. The sound of Zero's warp is audible to human ears and will draw their attention to him if you're not careful. It's important to make note of all the places to hide and the places of all the guards and scientists instead of warping to and fro all willy-nilly.

Warp isn't a long game, but its pacing is really well done. There's enough incentive to keep you moving, while the puzzles and obstacles, which do complicate your escape, are never so blatantly frustrating that you give up. One of the good things about Warp is that you don't have to be a puzzle wiz to beat it. Thanks to the game's checkpoint arrangement placing you at the beginning of the new puzzle every time you fail, you can easily overcome even the most difficult puzzles through simple trial and error without costing you a lot of your time or sanity. And while the game is short, if you ever feel the need for time to brush up on Zero's skills, there are Challenge areas that offer a timed mini game of specific moves, helping you master them one by one and giving you treats for completing the challenge in the set amount of time.

Warp is good fun and definitely worth a playthrough. You'll have a great time figuring out the puzzles and popping humans like water balloons. It is an arcade game, so Zero doesn't stick around very long, but it's a fun ride while it lasts.

Bottom Line: Warp was a lot of fun to play once, but not something you'll play over and over again.

Recommendation: If you're in the mood for a challenging puzzle game without much of a time investment, then Warp is right up your alley.

Game: Warp
Genre: Family/Puzzle
Developer: Trapdoor
Publisher: EA Partners
Platform(s): XBLA, PSN & PC (March 13th)

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