Commuting Cognition: Astro Chimp

What is this?

I’ve never been a big mobile game player, but I ended up working in a mobile games company, so I’ve been trying to expose myself to more games in this market and attempt to gain an ever-better understanding of them. One of the ways I’ve been doing that is in trying out new games, seeing what they do wrong and right, and try to draw conclusions from them that I can use in the future to make our games better. One of the resources I’ve been using for this is TouchArcade (not sponsored), and their columns listing the new iOS games of the week.

This resulted in me playing a lot more new games during my daily bus rides, but I also feel the need to discuss them somewhere and keep a log of my thoughts instead of just internalizing them. So, Commuting Cognition. These will be brief, bus-ride-long thoughts on these games, and should be seen less as reviews and more as first impressions. They also may not be daily, depending on how full the bus is that day.

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Astro Chimp

Astro Chimp is a super fun Auto-Runner Platformer. You control a permanently running chimp, tapping to jump, swing on bars, and be shot off cannons.

Refreshingly, the game doesn’t use randomly generated content, instead relying on good old level design, and to great effect; it’s very easy to see the Donkey Kong Country and Crash Bandicoot influences, and each level is a delight to play.

The aesthetic is very Crash Bandicoot in its design and in the death animations. It’s got surprising polish in little things like the chimp lifting itself up if you land right on the edge of a platform. Even the music is cool, though there was only the one during my short 5-level run, which could prove repetitive. Honestly i’m still a little shocked to see what feels like it could belong on a console for free on mobile; if there was an option to get rid of the interstitial ads that show up after each level and after every few deaths, i’d happily throw a few bucks their way.

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