Impressions: Red Game Without A Great Name

Yes, the name’s insufferable. Red Game Without A Great Name [official site] is as wince-inducing as those tits at the pub quiz who call themselves “The Team In The Corner!”. But let’s forgive it that and look at the game itself – it’s an original mechanic in a side-scrolling game! Goodness me. But does it work?

You play a creepy mechanical bird delivering mail, who automatically flies across an inexorably scrolling screen, controlled only by teleportation.

Beyond that, it’s fairly recognisable, especially aesthetically. Red flavoured backgrounds with a silhouetted foreground, masonry and foliage and spiky dangers. Clearly designed for a touchscreen, it’s no surprise it’s available on iThings – there’s even an in-game guide with the image of a finger doing the dragging. But that translates perfectly well to the mouse, where you click on the bird, drag to the point to which you’d like it to teleport, and let go. It then blips there. The trick is figuring out that movement while not being able to stop the bird from flying forward, and preventing it from touching any of the dangers.

There, unfortunately, the big problem arises. It seems to me the bird reacts to hitting something like barbed wire a couple of pixels before it actually does. Attempting to make precision moves to zip back and forth between enclosed sections, aiming to grab gears along the way, means you need to be fast. So when you appear to have timed things perfectly but the bird dies anyway, it’s a touch frustrating. Even worse, it sometimes just appears to fail to move at all – draw the line, let go, and it hits the wall anyway. Finally, I’ve had far too many moments where I’ve clicked on the bird in the split-second available, but it hasn’t let me draw a line. And when all of these apparent errors means starting the level again, it’s a real burden.

And it just seems to get worse. Which is such a shame, as the mechanic is really novel, and could have made for a fun challenge. Instead it’s a game that seems to constantly kill you despite your doing everything right.

I think the same mentality that led to such a dreadful name has permeated the entire project. It’s not difficult to think of a good name for your game – I would call this game of delivering mail in a dystopian future, “Post Apocalyptic” – but it feels as if the game skips precision in all things. I’m disappointed, as this looked fun, but it’s only an exercise in frustration.

14 Comments

  1. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Team in the Corner is a damn sight more palatable than Norfolk ‘n’ Good.

  2. Shazbut says:

    That might be the worst name in the history of games

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Indeed. Games with such titles are instantly ignored when they release on Steam. Likewise… Pixelo…pia, Yet another … game, and similar titles.
      If they can’t even think of a decent title they probably can’t code, too.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s definitely a serious contender. Like, it’s not even a joke. Other weird/long game names at least contain a real attempt at a joke.

      • Shazbut says:

        I keep thinking about it. I mean, unlike every other sentence in the article, reading the name actually makes me uncomfortable. Everything about it is hideous. Every word is somehow the worst possible word to use.

        I suppose in some way, they are to be congratulated.

  3. Bull0 says:

    Good Quiz team names

    Quiz Akabusi
    Quiz Quiztofferson
    Quiz on my face

  4. magogjack says:

    Ahh john the grumpiest person on the internet, I rarely agree with you but you make me feel like a positive and optimistic person (Which I am certainly not!).

    Your so Grumpy you could write rap’s for Drake!

    Thanks for the Cheer ip!

  5. PaperRock says:

    Post-a-pollyipse?

  6. iFun4all_NEPtuned says:

    Hey guys! Neptuned from iFun4all here. As with every difficult game at times it might be frustrating, this goes for Super Meat Boy, VVVVV, Dark Souls and other beloved franchises. Some people feel the urge to play more, others just put it aside. We get that, however most of this games require patience out of you to succeed and than the feeling of achievement is greater. I can guarantee you that the colliders work just fine. I’ll leave a YouTube link to one person who actually didn’t give up after the first few deaths:
    link to youtu.be
    We’re also open for discussion regarding this. Cheers!

    • Jollyrogers says:

      As someone who has had to change their game names before, and know how much of a pain of a butt it is, I really encourage you to do it. The name just doesn’t capture the charming art and theme you’ve got going here. It’s a downright disservice. I honestly wouldn’t have clicked this article if it wasn’t for the appealing art style.

      Good luck on it, though. It’s super charming :D