Artifix Mundi are not well known in the mobile gaming world, but all this could change with the release of Deadlings for iOS devices. Deadlings is an arcade platform puzzle game where players control zombies in order to collect brains from a maze, all while avoiding various obstacles.
Deadlings starts with a static screen which the player can move around to see the entire playable area. To begin a game, the starting area is hit by choosing which zombie will be used in order to complete the puzzle. This is followed by the direction in which the player wants the zombie to move.
Zombies move in that direction until they hit an obstacle, where they will either bounce off, stick to it or die from hitting it. Thankfully, there are four different zombies to select from and these are presented before starting the game. Choosing the appropriate zombie to complete each puzzle is crucial. Otherwise the zombie will fail in their attempt to reach the exits and will have to start over again.
Each of the four zombies has their own ability meant to solve certain puzzles. Bonesack, who is a continuous runner, jumps when touching the screen and doesn’t stick to anything. Creep also continuously runs but sticks to surfaces such as sides and roofs when the screen is touched. Stencher floats on his gasses when the screen is pressed. Finally, Lazybrain doesn’t move when the screen is pressed.
It’s each of these abilities that really taxes the players skills. Since each is unique, thought must be put into which direction to go, which zombie to use and when to press the screen at the right time in order to achieve the particular goal that has been set aside for the level.
The labyrinth that the zombies encounter is made up of tight walls, open spaces and obstacles such as spikes, saws, lasers and more. There are buttons to press in order to open pathways. Challenges like getting each zombie to different exits and more keeping the player on their toes. Over a hundred total challenges can be found in Deadlings.
There is the option of Arcade Mode and Strategy Mode with a total of four worlds available to play in. Difficulty of the game gets progressively harder but has been designed well. With a little patience and persistence, every level can be completed.
Part of the presentation are the cutscenes that take place after every few levels. These tell the story of what is happening and are done well. They have a cartoon-like quality and are enjoyable to watch.
The overall presentation of the game is good. It’s obvious that Artifix Mundi have spent time making sure Deadlings flows nicely in its design and has a consistent look and feel throughout.
Deadlings’ attention to detail also transfers to its sound. Sound effects are well executed across all parts of the experience. The soundtrack is suitably creepy and works to enhance the overall mood of the gameplay and art style.
Deadlings is a fun and exciting puzzle game. It has plenty of levels to unlock, a good deal of variety and enough challenge that will make players think. If there is one downside to be found, it’s that some levels can come across as very similar to previous levels. Because of the style of the game, everything can become quite familiar after a point. However, the attention to detail is great. Deadlings’ simple and intuitive controls will help it appeal to all ages.