In the mobile world, gaming companies have it tough. They need to come up with a game that looks good enough, and plays good enough, for you to pick it out among the many, many others in the crowd. And they have to do it cheap…after all, no one is willing to pay much for a mobile game. With those kinds of criteria, sometimes simple is the best way to go.
Cyklus is one of those games where you have everything figured out within a few minutes of play. The premise is very simple – you pilot a spaceship through trippy space levels, while trippy space music plays in the background. Very simple premise, but oh so difficult to master. Your spaceship is a flat disc that rotates constantly. There are pick-ups you can get that will freeze the circular motion of your ship momentarily – and they are invaluable in many tricky spots – but for the most part, you will need to factor the motion of your ship into how you play.
The idea is that you need to work your way through winding, twisting levels full of obstacles, picking up crystals and avoiding touching anything as you work your way to the finish. When you begin each level, you don’t know where the end is, as you can’t see the whole board, so figuring out how to get to the end portal is a big part of the game. You can just find the end and go right through it without picking up any crystals. You’ll still advance to the next level – but you’ll only reach that coveted 100% by finding every crystal. In addition to the crystals, there are pickups that do things like restore your ship, freeze your ship’s motion, and boost your speed. And you’ll need them.
As you advance in the game, things become more and more difficult. What begins as simply moving around a smaller area with relatively little in your way, quickly amps up to navigating through moving gates, avoiding enemies as they dash back and forth, and ever so slowly working your way through tiny little passages. Oh, and it’s timed too, so completionists have both their best time and top percentages to work towards, giving Cyklus a lot of replay value.
Cyklus looks and sounds pretty good for a relatively low priced game. Things are pretty simple, but everything that is there is clear and vibrant. The music can get a bit repetitive at times, but it suits the look of the game. The controls in Cyklus are classic mobile gaming. You move your finger to move your ship. Flicking your finger will send your ship flying–something you really don’t want to do. Lifting your finger stops forward motion instantly–but the rotating is ever going, so stopping too close to a wall is often your downfall. Your ship can only get hit a few times before it is destroyed – sending you right back to the start – so you’ll needed to be steady handed to do well in this game. I recommend the use of a stylus whenever possible, as your fingers can definitely get in the way when you are in tricky situations.
Cyklus is a tricky game that will often have you quite frustrated as you work your way through ever more difficult levels. But it is also a forgiving game – you don’t need to get 100% to advance, and more pickups are always available in the shop. With 100 levels to play through, and all kinds of replaying to get your top scores, Cyklus promises a lot of gaming for very little cash.