Take “a Ride into the Mountains” to discover the joy of casual gaming

By , Aug 7, 2013

A Ride Into The Mountains 4You may not be a fan of gaming on your iPhone. Maybe you have Angry Birds and Sonic CD just to give you something to do while waiting for the bus. You may be the kind of person who prefers gaming on a living room console instead.

A Ride into the Mountains may change your mind, or at least give you a reason to add another game to your iPhone. It is simple, fun, and will keep you coming back for more…

Design

This game uses the retro style of heavy pixelation in combination with the subtle color of muted tones. The background is basic with shadow and light combinations to imply a folkloric landscape. There is one hero who rides a chestnut mare through forests, hills, and mountains to find a mysterious relic to save the world.

The horse runs automatically, but you can speed up or slow down to avoid oncoming attacks. Players shoot down flying enemies using a touch-and-drag control system.

The music that accompanies the game is almost as important as the game itself. It is peaceful and Zen-like, making your casual adventure game feel like a practice in relaxation.

There is not much to the game’s tasks and goals. You must shoot down your enemies before moving onto the next area in the forest. It is minimalistic, in a way, because the controls are simple and the gameplay is basic.

A Ride Into The Mountains 5

Gameplay

Players control Zu, a young farmer with a gift for archery. He must travel across the land to find an evil relic that has the potential to destroy his village. You are tasked with destroying monsters that have appeared in the area by shooting them with your bow and arrow.

Zu is on his trusty steed. The horse runs automatically, but you can speed up or slow down his movement by tilting your device. Depending on which level you are on, you will tilt from side to side or front to back.

In addition to adjusting the horse’s speed, you must aim and shoot your bow and arrow at the enemy. Different levels feature different tasks, but the basic attack is the same. You must drag your finger across the screen to line up the shot and then let go when you think you’ve aimed properly. The longer you keep the draw, the further the shot will go.

The first section has you running from left to right across the screen and shooting at enemies above. The monsters will try to kill you by throwing ninja stars and boomerangs. It won’t affect you if the weapon hits your horse, but one blow to the head and you have to restart that particular battle.

In the second section, players run from bottom to top and shoot enemies on the left and right. In this round, you can slow down the action and take aim with a special ability.

Each section features a boss to fight. The boss will have a health bar showing how many more shots you need to kill him. He will also be able to produce minions that will try to destroy you.

If you are killed, you don’t have to start the run from the beginning. Instead, you will start from the battle that you just lost. There is no way to replay earlier levels unless you reset the game.

As you complete achievements, you will earn trophies, which you can view in the trophy room.

There are seven different sections that feature a different landscape, like hills, lakes, mountains, and more. On your journey, you will find the evil relic and bring balance to the land.

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The Good

This game is very simple to play. It does not require much of your attention, but it is far from boring. Although it is challenging, it is also relaxing. You won’t feel frustrated if you don’t kill your enemy fast because you will be able to pick up right where you left off, no matter where you are. You don’t run out of arrows or suffer penalties for taking too long. The goal of the game is to complete the journey.

The Bad

The tilt controls don’t feel intuitive. I’d like to see the ability to choose between tilt controls and a virtual joystick.

Value

A Ride into the Mountains costs $0.99. This is the perfect price for a game in the casual adventure genre. The replay value is low since you can’t replay any levels without resetting the game, but you will definitely get your dollar’s worth out of this game.

Conclusion

Fans of casual adventure games will enjoy the simplicity that this game has to offer. It is easy to pick up and play at any time and you won’t even lose your place in the game if you suddenly shut down the app. It is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store today.

Related Apps

Kid Tripp is another new pixelated game that is part of the adventure genre. Jumping Dr. Tap could be considered a similar game. However, A Ride into the Mountains is fairly unique and it is hard to compare it to other games in the genre.

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  • Anuj Mali

    Wtf
    then whats the use of Retina Display for …!!!

    • Gorgonphone

      well you see each Hugh blockin in this game is made up of 1000000000000 tiny retina blocks which means you will have the highest quality block graphics ever

  • Gorgonphone

    um 1986 called and whats its blocky lame graphics back… SMH.. i don’t care how much hype crap like this gets there is no excuse for graphics this damn bad in 2013

    • Dan

      That’s kind of the point. Some developers choose to have pixelated graphics. It’s meant to be artistic. Sometimes it’s well done, sometimes it isn’t.

      It’s a matter of personal choice. No one is forcing you to buy this.

      • Gorgonphone

        “It’s meant to be artistic” riiiiiight oh i get it kind of like ive’s IOS7 failed attempt at “the flat UI” design style that failed and just looks like a kinder gardener’s doodles … is see!!!

      • Hyr3m

        1) Nostalgia : think “Monkey Island” or “Prince of Persia”, think about the people in their 30s (or late 20s) who grew up with 8/16bit graphics and music (btw I just love chiptunes and other oldschool 8bit music :P)

        2) Quality : (as ironic as it might sound…) if you have 100 hours to make a game and spend half on graphics, the other half (gameplay, story etc) wont be nearly as good as if you only spent 1/10th on graphics

        2.5) Price : What was that ? “Hire a graphics designer so you can work 200 hours instead of 100″ ? Won’t be 0.99$

        3) Art : Nowadays it’s all about the “details” but I remember a day when people had to do the most with what was possible at the time (which brought us awesome things; think “Monkey Island” again, despite somewhat basic graphics, the games featured some incredible artwork that actually played around with the constraints instead of just saying “f*ck it we’ll just wait 20 years until technology catches up with the quality of what we have in mind”. Look at the first Mario and count the pixels that made up his body then open your eyes to the impact these few pixels had on the gaming industry). Gaming is not about drooling on graphics… (you can look at the real world for that… go see beautiful places/people/things) Gaming is about having fun and we didn’t wait for the latest GPU or to have 12 gigs of ram to have fun…

        4) Granted : I agree with you though… Canabalt is a great example of what I’ve been describing whereas I would say this here game is only halfway there (meaning the pixels should’ve been half as big, more detail but still the charm of the pixelated artwork). Although I must hand it to the artist : he’s way more skilled than most photoshop “wannabes” out there.

        5) Stability : Considering it’s meant to run on obsolete hardware (iPhones) I would say it’s a smart move in the sense that the game will prolly always run smoothly despite being on the shittiest platform out there. (sorry but I had to :D )

      • Gorgonphone

        wow great post very deep and detailed…lol well i am a 30 something year old graphics designer and i played the old games with bad graphics but i feel like i only played those cause thats all there was now we have better … but yeah am sure some folks will like this game sooooooooo

      • Hyr3m

        You might like this : wimp[d0t]com/workswonders/

      • Dan

        What an idiotic comment. Why don’t you just make your own app then? The designer decided to go that route, if you don’t like it just don’t get it. I never understand why people like you always feel the need to put things down.

      • Gorgonphone

        Lol welll its like this ives UI design for IOS7 sucks and i am a realist so i admmit it! You are emotional so you start crying…. We all know what ive was trying to do but he failed and instead removed all th elive from the design lol i will get it for the othe cool features and jailbreakit to make it look like ios6

      • Dan

        huh? I don’t care the slightest about IOS7, and personally I don’t even like it. How am I emotional exactly?

        I’m simply stating that it’s the designers prerogative to choose what type of graphics suits him.

        Even if you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it sucks. Always the same with you, you think opinion = fact.

      • Gorgonphone

        Its a fact that ios7 ui design failed you dont have to admit it lol but its true

      • Dan

        I just said I don’t like it, are you illiterate or just stupid?

      • Gorgonphone

        You cry like u like it tho

      • Dan

        ok man, I’m out

  • Brandon Miranda

    I quite like it. I like the pixelated look the developer gave it.

  • Neil Sardesai

    This game is frustratingly difficult.