Penombre (iPad)

PENO_BOXYet another continuously running 2-D platformer is making its way toward iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here). In this one, help a witch avoid obstacles and baddies while collecting souls in this spooky-themed challenge.

As Umbra the witch, you can jump, double jump, and activate magic spells. The graphics have a dark, silhouette style to them, but you know what to avoid because it’s all painted red. Obstacles include thorns, spears, and sawblades. Sometimes, bats or wolves will charge you so you must jump in time as they pass. Along the way you can collect souls, which can be used to buy magic spells you can activate on your next run.

Speaking of which, as you run along you may come across a magic icon that’ll give you a power-up. These include a magnetic barrier that’ll draw souls toward you, and another can make you turn into a werewolf so you can take an extra hit. But you’re a bigger target in that mode, so be careful. If you take too many hits, the game ends, but you can activate a healing potion before that happens if you’ve been running long enough. Similar to other games of this ilk, you can also complete side missions like collecting a certain number of souls or running a specific distance.

Penombre has some problems that keep it from being ahead of the continuous running game pack, though. Hit detection feels a little off, as I’d get hit even though I swear I cleared that jump. There are also different areas, but it’s unclear how you unlock them. Plus the game doesn’t do anything different enough to make it stand out from the rest of the glut of these types of games.


Kid Factor:

If you get hit by an obstacle, you hear a slashing sound and a red splash animation, but that’s about as violent as it gets. If you lose, you just fall down. Reading is helpful for some of the text, but the game is pretty easy to figure out just by playing. The high difficulty and repetitive nature of the game may discourage some kids, and the darker feel of the game may slightly frighten others.

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