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Developer: Invictus Games Ltd.
Genre: Music, Rhythm
Platforms: Android, iOS
Give It Up is an eighteen level rhythm game where you play as a blob that goes through an obstacle filled with spikes and pits. The levels are about as simple in design as it can be. It has a electronic setting as the blob jumps across platforms that light up. Each platform hit earns points. It can die by landing on a spike or hitting a wall in a giant black splatter. Closing into the 50% mark of levels in the game, the mechanics now adds on heightened reaction based obstacles. The platforms now suddenly rise or drop, giving the player only a second to react.
The look of the game is simple. That is fine. For the purpose of the game, the player doesn’t really want other distractions. It might even retract from the gameplay. One nifty bit that rhythm games should implement is showing the percentage completed of the level. It is somewhat of a pro and con situation. In Give It Up, it is counting as the game progresses faintly in the background. Most of the time, it is hard to even care about it and maybe knowing where we are might give us false hope and we will be overconfident or rush, but it also gives us a point of reference as to how much further there is to hold on and keep our act together.
I’ve played a lot of rhythm games. The best part about it is that it is like going to a party for one with energetic music and enough challenge to make it engaging and entertaining. It kills time but in a ‘so bad its good’ way. The victory at the end is always sweet. Geometry Dash is a good example of this. Give It Up is hard. Too hard. The game description calls it “rather hard” (which I disagree). The issue is that it is overly precise. On top of that, it only has one song throughout the entire game. In the first few levels, it was acceptable even in its hardest moment when the level was fixed. The moment the game entered into the shifting platforms, it didn’t take long to be frustrated. It is the bad frustration that isn’t even powered by wanting to defeat the challenge. As the amount of tries is displayed at the beginning of the level, it sinks in that this is an impossible task. The only motivating part is the funny comments after every death to restart the level, except even that gets old quickly in time.
Give It Up is available for free and maybe that should be enough to lower our standards a little. However, a game is not defined by its length or its price-tag. The design is cool. The set-up is charming and even adding in the percent completed in the background is a nice touch. The comments at the deaths to restart are always fun to read. Except, Give it Up fails on two very important aspects of a rhythm game: lack of diverse music and challenging but engaging gameplay. When a game is about a player controlling when to jump or not, there has to be more than a space to react, there has to be room for some delay, even one second more won’t hurt.