Many of you enthusiastic mobile gamers will have heard of EDGE, the critically-acclaimed iOS game. The developers have recently not only ported this to Android, but also released its successor, EDGE Extended. What does this game have to offer that the first one didn’t, and is it in any way an improvement? Read on to find out…
What is EDGE Extended?
In EDGE, you take the role of a flashing multicolored cube, making your way around an isometric universe of ledges and ridges. You have to reach the end of the level without falling off or getting knocked into the void beneath you. As you progress through the levels, this becomes more and more difficult to achieve, as the structure of the level can change depending on traps you trigger, or events that are designed to make reaching the objective a pain.
To make things a little easier, you are able to collect checkpoints along your way. This means that, if you fall off the map, you don’t have to restart all the way from the beginning. In the harder levels this is a real blessing; there would be nothing more infuriating than getting the timing for 10 different manoeuvres perfect, failing the 11th, and having to redo the lot.
The first level in the game.
Within this version of EDGE is a new and improved graphics engine, with the alterations clearly distinguishable from the first game. The most notable improvement is the ability for the camera to relocate itself depending on where the cube is. For example if I move underneath another structure, the camera alters its position to give me a clearer view of what I am doing.
When you first load a level, it builds itself in a fashion that I can only describe as resembling the Pipes screensaver on old WinXP computers. I am not sure whether the 3D improvements have a hand in this, or whether this was in the original version of EDGE.
What You Get
The developers of EDGE Extended decided to offer three control types. The first is dragging, which I don’t think works well for this type of game at all. You never know how much ‘strength’ to put into the drags, especially when you want to keep the cube moving along. If you want to move one place to the right, you will swipe too hard and end up moving two, and then fall off the level.
The second choice, of using the accelerometer controls, is really difficult to get into as well. When the cube starts to roll over, things turn into an ‘all or nothing’ situation, similar to the dragging control method. If you tip your device far enough to make the cube roll onto its next side, it will then keep rolling rapidly until you level the device again. This means that, on the levels with thin walkways, you easily fall off the edge into the void because the cube doesn’t stop when or where you want it to.
The third and final choice is the on-screen directional pad, which is by far the best way of controlling the cube. A single tap on one of the arrows and the cube moves in that direction; tap and hold and it moves rapidly and stops immediately when you let go. To ‘hang on’ to the sides of blocks, just quickly tap repeatedly.
The largest advertising point for EDGE Extended was the addition of 48 new levels. Unfortunately, they aren’t anything worth shouting about. They are in no way ‘better’ than the levels included in the first EDGE game. I think they are aimed to be a booster pack for people who enjoyed the first EDGE game, and are looking for more.
Is It Fun?
Well, it depends on whether you attain fun from a challenge that requires timing, delicate control and precision. If you suspect you would enjoy such a game, then yes this will probably be great fun for you. If, like me, you enjoy a game you can play through without the frustration of constantly losing the level due to poor controls and overly complex levels (or are just clumsy…), then you’ll get exasperated rather quickly.
One thing that won me back (a bit) was discovering the landscape mode. I originally looked for ages to find a toggle of some kind, since the game struck me as one which would feel and look much better in landscape on my phone. Frustratingly I couldn’t find an obvious way to do this. After a quick Google I found that you can switch to a landscape mode if you hold two fingers on the screen, and then rotate in the direction you wish to play the game in. This should have been made plain in the first place, but once I got the game into landscape I began to enjoy it much more!
Landscape Mode! (The odd colours of the cube is due to the screenshot software, not the game.)
This sequel to the original Edge game is pretty much the same as Expansion content on PC games. All you are getting is a heap of new levels and a slightly modified graphics library. Releasing it as a new game seems a bit cheeky to me. It should have been thrown in with the ordinary game, re-advertised as improved, and then existing fans could have received them as a free update while Mobigame earned money from the sales caused by word of mouth.
For a rating I think EDGE Extended gets 7/10. Why? Well it’s a fun game but by no means any more sensational or gripping than its predecessor. If you only bought the first game, you couldn’t really tell the difference.