Challenge on a budget

I can always appreciate a game that can do much with only a handful of assets; 1001 Spikes being a prime example. While 99Moves does not succeed on the same level, I can appreciate what developer and publisher, EnjoyUp Games, was trying to accomplish. There five modes: Mission, Race, Survival, and Arcade, but they are all variations of the same formula, and nothing that you already couldn’t do in the Missions mode.

99Moves is a simple overhead arcade title that tasks the player with navigating through corridors and dodging pink squares in order to reach the end in only 99 Movements. Though it sounds the game gives you a lot of freedom, knee-jerk reactions and foolish backtracking will leave you scraping the bottom of the barrel in no time. A lot of the game comes down to trial and error, and you will soon become familiar with each of the twelve stages offered. You can only take two hits, and one hit will send you off in the opposite direction and your hitbox will increase in size, raising the tension even more. You can recover a life-point by nabbing a 99Moves icon, but there are only five, so don’t get too cocky. Points are awarded by skimming close to lethal objects, adding a risk-and-reward element for anyone looking to make the online leaderboard. The glow of said objects may obscure the line between safe and sorry a bit, so you’ll need to keep your eyes glued. That said, the collision detection is spot on, right down to the pixel. You won’t have to worry about shaky hitboxes in this title.

Don’t think every mission is the same. Some missions will trap you in a small room; dodging obstacles until the exit portal floats back into frame. Again, since the point of the game is to make it out alive in 99 presses of the d-pad (or analog stick if you are masochist), you’ll need a cool head to navigate successfully. 99Moves is not so mean as to leave you hanging for more than 90 seconds, so a death in these levels won’t make you pull your hair out in frustration.

There isn’t much to 99Moves, but there doesn’t need to be. At $2.49, EnjoyUp has a given out a great value. This game provides a fair challenge through incredibly simple controls, which is a big plus in my book. The eShop title is a great buy for anyone who likes high-tension gameplay. The total campaign is short, but 99Moves’ strength lies in it’s replay-ability, especially for those score-chasers out there. If you’ve got any leftover Digital Promotion coupons left over, you may want to look into this title.