Release Date: 14th August 2014
You could very easily write a succinct review for this game. It would be a disservice to do so but for those that like to skip to the rating at the bottom of reviews it wouldn’t be unreasonable to simply ask if you enjoyed the Rayman series of runners. If that elicits a response anywhere in the spectrum of positivity over a “not really” then I’d say this game needs a spot on your iDevice.
Whilst I use the Rayman comparison as a lazy simile, it’s slightly misleading. The main meat of gameplay certainly involves a heavy dose of auto-runner platforming with an emphasis on repeating levels to perfect the collectible gathering, the handling feels remarkably different. Whilst I’d never say it to her face, the titular Stunt Gal is a lot heavier than Rayman. There’s a weight to the running and leaping that’s surprisingly satisfying; especially once you encounter some of the physics of the levels. Wooden planks will tip as you cross them and crates stacked in your path can cost you valuable seconds if you mistime a jump. It seems a small detail but it’s one that makes it feel refreshing.
The levels have a more freeform feel than Rayman’s, the ideal path is not always so obvious so perfecting a level takes multiple attempts. It’s not at all frustrating but the difficulty is definitely something that makes it stand out from the crowded genre. Each level has multiple tasks, ranging from a simple completion to achieving the fastest time with all collectibles. Even the first level feels much tougher than any of Jungle Run’s first dozen. If you’re a completionist then the sheer value for money you’ll get from this is very impressive.
As with all Kempt’s games, the visuals are a great, crisp cartoon-style with fluid animation while the music rocks, literally, with thrashing guitar riffs thoughout. The encompassing theme of ’70s US cop shows bonds all the games together nicely but this is a massive departure for them and one that I’m very glad to see – it’s a much more substantial experience than we’ve had from them.
It’s also good to see new features added as you progress, utilising tilt in a non-obtrusive manner. Once you string together a combo of jumps, bounces, slides and attacks it starts to feel like you’re playing Shadow Blade, another “King” of the genre. In fact, it slots in nicely between those two very respectfully, once you unlock the attack ability in the second world it really comes into its own.
My only real complaint being that it’s all over earlier than I would have liked. Thankfully, there are already slots for two more worlds to be added and the aforementioned replay value adds greatly. There’s also something to be said about a game leaving you wanting more rather than outstaying its welcome; I’d never turn down more content but it speaks volumes about the quality of the game.
Stunt Gal can be purchased exclusively for iOS here: