I have enjoyed a few forced-scrolling platformers over the years, but only a few. Time to add “Apex” to the list, a forced climbing platformer that does everything right.
Controls are tight, puzzles are present, unexpected obstacles get in your way, you have weapons to destroy blocks in your way, and strategy pleasantly rears its head at unexpected times. An example of that is the fact that you have both a health bar and an energy bar to manage. Shoot lasers to destroy blocks in your way too often and you’ll find yourself unable to double-jump, for example, which could kill you as the lava rises; it might be better to go for a less direct/more dangerous path, but one that leaves you with more energy to do what you need to do. I always love being faced with hard choices like that in a game, and an incentive to retry a level by taking a different approach.
For 80 Microsoft Points you get a game that has the right difficulty curve, and is enjoyable all around.
Here’s what the developer (Riddlersoft) has to say about the game:
“Are you quick enough to stay ahead of the sizzling hot lava? Can you stay calm under the pressure as you race against the lava to get as high as you can? Explore a huge level with secret power ups and alternative paths as you try to get higher than anyone else.”