Red Game Without a Great Name on PC
It’s said you only get one chance to make a first impression, and that’s true in the world of games as well. Coming out of the gate with a title like Red Game Without a Great Name is, perhaps, not the strongest way to do that. However, we’re also told that you can’t judge a book by its cover, so we’re going to look past this bizarre introduction and see what this side-scrolling steampunk-inspired game is really all about.
In Red Game (I’m not spending my time with the full title every time), players take a sort of control over a mechanical bird tasked with delivering mail. The objective of each level is to guide the strange creation from one birdcage to another, collecting gears and dodging nefarious traps along the way. Rather than actually controlling the bird’s flight, though, players have only one means of helping it find its way: the power of teleportation.
Since Red Game is a side-scroller, of course, the animatronic avian is always in motion. For the most part, left to right is the norm, but elements within the levels can change the bird’s direction of travel. While the movement is, generally, relatively slow, players will still have to be on constant vigil, as the slightest brush against any of the game’s sharp edges means immediate death and restarting the current level.
Red Game uses some pretty typical mechanisms for driving players to perform. Each level has three gears to collect within it, usually placed in precarious spots that will require lightning-fast reflexes to pop in and out of. Completing a level will track a player’s gear collection and death count, with grabbing each gear and reaching the finish unscathed results in a ‘Flawless’ designation for the stage.
It’s important to note that Red Game began as a mobile game, with touchscreen controls at its core. Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate as well as you might hope to the mouse-based controls of the game’s PC port. Since each teleport requires a click-and-drag from the bird to its destination, and both the camera and bird are in constant motion, the chief challenge of the game is not from each level’s design, but from the precision and quickness required to interact with it. Add to this the low-resolution look and occasional difficulty telling what is or is not a dangerous part of the scenery, and things get pretty tough to manage.
Despite the fact that Red Game likely works better in its original mobile form, it still offers some fun. The frustration may require some patience to overcome if you want to break through all 60 of the game’s artistically-presented levels, it may well still live up to the $4.99 price tag on Steam. Apple device owners can also spare themselves a couple bucks, and some concerns about mouse control, by sticking to the App Store‘s $2.99 entry fee.