Talk about overstuffing the pudding. One Epic Game features zombies, aliens, medieval knights, time travel, the apocalypse, evil masterminds, nazis, and the President of the United States of America. In fact, all of the cliches and tropes of every app you've ever played, thrown together into one classy package.
How does it play?
By "classy", we actually mean hyperactive and juvenile. The game is a run and gun affair, with just two control buttons, jump and fire. Our hero automatically runs full tilt through an obstacle course of bad guys, platforms and deathtraps, and players have to survive each mission unscathed by meeting various objectives.
A standard level might be to kill 15 zombies. But other, more specialised missions require you to hit a certain score, or to get to the end of a mission without killing anyone. It's a clever way of distinguishing One Epic Game from your standard endless running title, and also allows for a regular scenery change that prevents boredom from setting in too early.
Power-ups are scattered about with liberal abandon. Most of them are weapons of varying range and power – shotgun, flamethrower, rocket-launcher – which you get to keep for as long as you can avoid getting hit. Others include a jet-pack, to give you the temporary power of flight, and physical boosts to your speed, life and score. Some of them are placed in tricky spots, however, a deliberate design to tempt you into risking your health.
Why do we like it?
If Michael Bay ever swapped the director's chair for a developer's bedroom, this is the kind of game he would have devised. It's tacky and tasteless, and it's stuffed to the gills with explosions and cartoon violence. The hero, meanwhile, is a walking steroid factory with crazy hair and crazy sneaks, just like every other gaming mascot out there.
But it's also presented as one big joke. The story script is a full-bore satire on those gaming cliches which are endemic to the App Store, and there's no way you could fail to get the point. By simultaneously poking fun at those stereotypes and then featuring them in abundance, One Epic Game gets to have its cake and eat it.
One Epic Game is available now on the App Store (69p)