Axle (Android) Review
Greg Johnson / Aug 25th, 2014 No Comments
Developed and published by Fallstreak Studio, Axle serves as the studio’s first release. Fallstreak Studio was founded by a group of Chapman University Alumni who got their funding for the game via Kickstarter and were even nominated for a Geekie for their efforts. The puzzle game is pretty straight-forward, but provides a decent challenge, fun environment and catchy tunes to boot.
The Wheels Keep on Turning
While players can’t expect to discover a horrid conspiracy involving three word phrases in the story of Axle, they will enjoy the presentation of a gear gaining sentience. A humble toymaker is lonely, so he creates Axle, a gear companion, to help him repair broken toys around his shop. As the game progresses, Axle will have to repair more and more difficult devices for a variety of customers while avoiding the dangerous innards of the various devices.
The story is presented via short stills and serves to set up a premise for the game while not getting so lengthy as to grind time away from gameplay. The simple art style and cheerful presentation give the world life and set it apart from being “just another puzzle game.”
Gears in Toyland
Controls are simple and minimal. Sliding your finger on the wheel on the screen’s corner moves Axle, while tapping makes him jump. The simplistic controls keep the game moving and ensures players remain engaged without having to fret over needlessly complicated game mechanics. A difficulty progression is also in place, as the levels go from simply getting from point A to point B, to avoiding a variety of obstacles and dangerous machine parts.
Players can find collectibles during the game, which can then be redeemed for extra levels or temporary defense items. For gamers without much skill, a shop within the game allows players to purchase these collectibles with real money. The only real issue regarding gameplay comes in using the touchscreen in a difficult situation where speed is of the essence. Controls can be somewhat sluggish, but this is a rare occasion and the game is fairly forgiving when it comes to hazards.
The Machine Melody
Cute is a vast understatement when it comes to Axle–he is simply adorable. The world of Axle is done in a very simple yet engaging artistic style, with parts of the world being easily distinguished from one another. In a game where the wrong jump can mean death for the player’s poor little gear, the art team makes hazards versus safety easily recognizable. Moving objects and painted backgrounds are blended well together and overall the world of Axle looks good and fits with the game’s whimsical theme.
Sound is no different as the noises of moving gears and cute bounces combine with the game’s simple score. The background music is enjoyable to listen to and doesn’t grate on the nerves. More importantly, the melodies are fun and relaxing, which is one of the more common oversights when making a puzzle game. Music that stresses players often leads to a puzzle game only tried once.
The Axis of Axle
Fallstreak Studio puts forward an engaging and fun puzzle game in Axle, something easy to get into and easy to stay in. A fair challenge and mischievous score mixed with a reasonable price off $1.99 makes Axle well worth the buy on Android devices. Fret not Apple fans, for Axle will be making a transition over to the App Store within a couple months. Hopefully more will be coming out of Fallstreak Studio in the future as Axle is and will continue to be a productive gear in the gaming machine.
tags: android , apple , axle , fallstreak studio , mobile , Puzzle Game , review