Game Rant's Dwayne Holder reviews AaaAaa!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration)
Dejobaan Games has been around for quite some time, making a name for itself in the indie developer world. Like many indie developers it was only a matter of time before they brought their talents to the exponentially growing mobile market. AaaAaa!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration), or F=ma, is their first title for iOS.
F=ma is a version of Dejobaan's popular Steam title AaaAaa!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity developed specifically for the iPhone. Dejobaan Games wasn't too familiar with developing for iOS so they teamed up with Owlchemy Labs - a developer with more experience on iOS (given their title Snuggle Truck).
F=ma is a first person, base jumping game, where the player must dive at break neck speeds while narrowly avoiding obstacles - while staying dangerously close to those obstacles in order to place the highest score. The game is set in a futuristic setting, but doesn't take place in cities, but far above them on floating platforms and buildings.
The player controls their base jumper by tilting their iDevice. There is a slight learning curve for those who became used to the mouse and keyboard controls of the original AAa!! games on the PC. For example in the PC versions the player could look around with the mouse to tag buildings or give a "Thumbs Up" to supporters. F=ma is designed so that the player doesn't need to look at their target in order to tag it.
Looking around is optional, a welcomed touch, since doing so can be a bit difficult when moving through obstacles at high speeds. Experienced gamers will find the feature useful, while casual gamers can get by without it.
There are many games that use tilt controls, and they sometimes leave the gamer wanting an alternative. During its transfer from PC to iOS this series plays very well with the accelerometer of iOS devices. Some may even prefer motion controls over the keyboard and mouse.
There isn't much of a story to F=ma. Players take on the role of an unnamed base jumper who is hell bent on sticking it to the man – and racking up some points while they're at it. The developers have a sense of humor that's always amusing and many times unusual. In fact one of their main selling points in this game is that it has "over '0' unique levels" (there are actually 47 stages). There's also a disturbing cookie recipe that players can unlock which we won't spoil for you here.
The main purpose to the game is to achieve the highest score. Game Center integration is present for those who wish to beat their friends' high scores online. To score points players must stay close to the structures as they race to the bottom. Staying close to buildings and other floating structures earns "Hugs" and players can gain multiple Hugs from a single structure the longer they stay close to it. Each new object you pass is worth a "Kiss" - and on the way down players can smash though glass plates to add even more to their score.
Gamers could just fly in the open to avoid objects, however this will result in a low score and a reduced number of "Teeth," which are the game's currency. Teeth are used to unlock new levels and the higher the score the more teeth gained. Players should choose wisely since the difficulty can increase sharply depending on the level. The descriptions of each stage give some indication of what to expect, however there will be occasions where a player may regret a purchase after unlocking an especially hard level.
Later in the game players can unlock the "Flip-It Glove" for flipping off protesters or giving a thumbs up to supporters. A can of spray paint can also be unlocked to tag government structures. All of these abilities allow the player to gain more points and a higher spot on the leaderboards. The buttons for these gestures are conveniently placed on each side of the screen, out of the way for optimal viewing.
F=ma looks awesome on the iOS retina display. This game was reviewed on an iPhone 4 and it looked great and will look even better on the larger screen of an iPad. The colors range from dull industrial greys to bright neon as you fly through various settings. The textures are crisp and the landscape of the planet's surface far below really adds to the skydiving experience.
AaaAAa!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration) has an eclectic range of music. Throughout the course of the game players will hear jazzy elevator music, techno, rock and an epic orchestral score. The game also has very distinct audio cues indicating when the player should utilize their "Flip-It Glove."
F=ma is a fun as well as fast-paced game and highly recommended for iOS users who are fans of the original. F=ma is also a good jumping off point for those who have yet to take the plunge into the Steam versions of the series.
AaaAAa!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration) is available now on the Apple App Store for 2.99.
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