Wave Wave – Review

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Platform: iOS, Android
Developer: Thomas Janson
Genre: Twitch
Price: £1.99/$2.99 on iOS. £1.09/$1.99 on Android
Release Date: 3rd May 2014

2014 is the year brutal difficulty levels hit mainstream entertainment. Sure we had Super Hexagon, Demon Souls and I Wanna Be The Guy but they were largely one-offs and niche titles, using their difficulty as a means to differentiate themselves. Now, thanks largely to the meteoric surge in popularity of Flappy Bird, being punished with end game screens mere seconds in has become a common sight. Whether it’s down to the masochistic streak in us all being teased out or the adrenaline burst of beating your highscore hooking us like junkies, the ultra-hard twitch genre is here to stay.

Wave Wave shares a lot with Flappy Bird. It’s an unavoidable statement. Even though the beta-testing had begun long before Dong Nguyen’s hapless avian first careened into a Mario Bros-esque pipe, it will forever be compared to it. It might sound like a dark cloud hanging over Wave Wave but, if anything, it’s been a massive boon; introducing a huge audience to a game they wouldn’t look twice at. A game that would have lived on only in the halls of YouTube, fodder for Let’s Play recorders to bemuse their viewers.

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Another undeniable detail of Wave Wave is the sheer artistic beauty of the visuals. Much like Monument Valley, you could screen-capture any single moment and have a background for you computer with no effort. Crisp and bold jagged edges erupt like vicious mountains into a surreal geometric landscape, coloured in by a madman with a Crayola collection. In motion, it’s almost to the point of being distracting. Distorting flares ripple across the screen whilst it spins fast enough to make Terry Cavanagh dizzy. It’s not for those prone to motion sickness but it’s impossible to be unimpressed.

As with Super Hexagon, the soundtrack goes a long way to making the game an audiovisual delight. Grinding chiptunes merge dubstep with metal and everything in between while a soothing feminine AI will all-too-happily announce your failure. Every. Time.

The sheer amount of content included by Thomas Janson does a great job of elevating it above its ephemeral competition. Sure you can infuriate yourself with the standard mode (available in six difficulties, no less) or you can try the two variations, the Galaxy mode that introduces a whole new way to play or take on the scripted levels, which are by no means easier.

Wave Wave stands out as easily the greatest Twitch game on any platform and arguably one of the greatest mobile games of all time for me.

Wave Wave can be purchased for iOS from here:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/wave-wave/id717990207?mt=8
and for Android here:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noodlecake.wavewave

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