That is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, kicking back and enjoy a story can be incredibly enjoyable. A story that keeps you engaged through interaction can be even better. Does The Act have enough “game” to keep you coming back for more? Read on to find out!
The Act is more of an interactive story than a game. You follow the tale of a window cleaner named Edgar who, through some happenstance, stumbles across the women of his dreams. You participate in a series of scenes to help Edgar win the heart of Sylvia.
Playing the game consists of only sliding to the left or right on the screen. Depending on the scene, this will cause Edgar to act a certain way. If you have ever played through Dragon’s Tale, you should be quite familiar with how a game like this works.
The game is designed to keep sucking money out of you in an arcade because there is a lot of trial and error involved. However, on iOS, you have an unlimited life, so playing trial and error to get through the story really has no punishment.
While the story of the game is cute, and I respect their effort in porting forth a game like this with no voice acting, it is just not that much fun. It is a really short game, and I really had to push myself to finish it.
As I said previously, the controls are rather simple. You swipe left and right to control Edgar’s actions during a scene. Some scenes are simple swipes to make him more aggressive and some require finite timing. For example, in one scene you have to run through the crowded hall in the hospital without crashing into the people lining the halls.
Whether you look at the slower controls during character development scenes, or the faster controls during “action” sequences, they work well and are suited to the game.
The Act looks is a fantastic looking cartoon. The animations are smooth, the characters are well drawn and they do a great job of creating emotion between Edgar and Sylvia. It is hard to speak to the visual appeal in terms of this being a game, because the fact is, it does not have to deal with many of the issues that most games do. There is no need to worry about buttons, joysticks and a limitless number of AI factors.
All they need to worry about it is making sure the art is well drawn and that everything animates well, and they most certainly get that part right.
They seemed to be going for keeping the presentation minimal and simple, and they certainly succeeded in that regard. The music in the game is also quite good, and it needs to be, because there is no spoken dialog from the characters. The story is told completely based on body language and actions. This is a cool way to tell a story and good music is needed to keep things feeling alive.
I know they wanted to create an interactive story, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, they are marketing it as a game, and there is not much game to be had here. The “game” part of The Act is more just trial and error and guesswork, and that gets old quickly.
Overall, this is a good interactive story and boring game. They had some creative ideas, but sadly, they just became boring too quickly. The game looks good, has a well-told story and the controls work as intended, so it is not all bad. If you are looking for something a little different, this could be perfect for you. However, if you are looking for something a little more exciting and action packed, you might want to skip The Act. 7/10