Here’s a little gem for platformer lovers. A game which was first built for Android tablet, Cordy, came to the iPad on June 27th and quickly settled in at #4. Its iPhone version, on the other hand is not doing quite as well at #60. Nevertheless, the colorful game from independent game studio SilverTree Media is earning its keep as it continues to rise up the top grossing iOS charts and currently sits at #51 (at least for iPad).
A pure platfoming game, Cordy is all about its level design and offers gameplay not unlike the platformers of yesteryear. Still, it feels modernized in a way not dissimilar to popular titles such as Little Big Planet (sans the PlayStation 3 visual quality).
Cute as its artistic style is, it is not a truly free game because players have to unlock the rest of game for $4.99 once the first four levels are completed. This method of monetization is fairly common, but it doesn’t feel like there’s enough content to truly hook the player in the free part.
Players take on the role of a tiny little robot by the name of Cordy, whose tiny, electronic world has run out of power. Working their way through 27 different levels, players must collect a series of energy charges and plug them into a giant, floating power outlet.
Through out each level, there are also several floating gears to be collected. Players can earn up to three stars in each level, based on their performance. Unlike other iOS games that use a three-star system, each star is earned based on a different element and not a cumulative score. One star is earned for completing a level, the second is earned for collecting all of the gears, and the third is earned by succeeding within a set amount of time.
As for the platforming itself, most of the mechanics are standard. There are objects to bounce off of for extra height, blocks to push and pull in moderate puzzle-style play, elements to swing off of, and walls to break through. What makes Cordy stand out a bit though is that everything is done with this vibrant and adorable art. On top of that, each mechanic flows fluidly together and the game becomes surprisingly fast-paced. A particularly amusing feature is the ability to sprint down hills and then launch Cordy skyward, with a well-timed jump, as he hits a yellow-marked incline.
The controls are simple to operate too; with two steering icons, a jump, and an interact button. Unfortunately, the response time does feel a bit sluggish. It isn’t much and it doesn’t drastically hinder game play, but Cordy does feel like it has a split-second delay. Nevertheless, it is far from a game-breaking issue, and at worst, makes the control feel slightly clunky at times. Moreover, the challenge is lax enough to not require perfect precision.
In order to monetize the game, SilverTree Media hits users from two vantage points. The first is the full app unlock for $4.99, which we mentioned before.
The second are other costumes, hats and color schemes that players can unlock in the app. Most only cost $0.99, but there are a few, slightly more elaborate color schemes, that cost $2.99.
Overall, Cordy is a pretty decent platforming game for both the iPhone and iPad. At worst, the only issues are that the game has some slightly sluggish response times. Beyond this, it has fantastic art. Hopefully, SilverTree will get more users to appreciate Cordy’s quirks and style by giving them more in the trial period before asking them to pay up for the full game.