There is an episode of Futurama in the sixth season called “Benderama” where Bender makes half-sized copies of himself to do his work. While the inevitable world-destruction antics ensue, it does make one wonder what it would be like to have a few clones hanging around to help out with the chores.
Instantion is a platform game that emphasizes puzzle-solving action. Players create clones that stand on buttons, activate bridge functions, and fall to their death so we don’t have to…
The game’s graphics remind me of Tron, the 1980s version staring Jeff Bridges, not the 2010 version staring a computer generated version of Jeff Bridges… and the Dude. The platforms are made from grid-like hexagons outlined in neon blue. Floating bridges look like hexagonal bubbles. The character and her three clones look like they are dressed in outfits made from electroluminescent wire. However, your character’s suit is not the only thing glowing. Her head, hands, and feet are as brightly lit as her formfitting suit, making the whole experience seem like a futuristic adventure.
Players control the movement of the original copy by using the left and right arrows on the left side of the screen. The jump button and interaction button are on the right side of the screen.
To activate a clone, touch the screen until the original produces a target. Aim the launch trajectory and let go of the screen. The clone will appear in that exact location.
Whenever you create a clone, it will move exactly the way the original does, including jumps, runs, and direction switching. This allows you to make your clones perform certain tasks that the original can’t do, but can also send them running when you don’t want them to.
Each level consists of a series of puzzles. Players must utilize their clones to activate bridges, block lasers, remove walls, and more. Run from one platform to the next, activate clones across gaps, and get to the exit portal as fast as possible.
The first obstacle you will come across is a simple bridge activation device. The original copy is on the opposite of the activator and needs help getting across the bridge. Hold your finger down on the screen to activate a clone. Then, drag your finger backward in a slingshot style to aim where you want the new clone to go. In this instance, you will want the clone to appear on the other side of the gap so it can turn on the bridge activation device. Let go of the screen to launch the clone. It will shoot out from the original and land on the exact spot you set as the target. Then, tap the interaction button in the lower right corner of the screen to activate the bridge. Once on, your original and copy can walk forward.
Clones will move exactly the way the original does. So, if you jump, your clones will too. If you run into a wall on a bottom level platform, but continue to hold down the right arrow button, the clone will continue running, even if your original can’t go that direction anymore.
Some puzzles require you to spawn multiple clones, or as many as you are capable of launching. Activate the additional clones by finding the ideal spot for them to launch. Then, move the original in whatever direction is necessary to get all three clones to perform a different function at the same time.
For example, on one level, there are three different buttons that need to be pressed in order to activate bridges for the original to cross. Send the clones to each button and have them stand on it to turn on the bridge. Keep in mind that, whenever you move the original, all clones move, too. If a clone is standing on a button when you start walking, it will walk forward as well. If nothing is in the way to stop the clone, it will walk off of the button and you will fall.
Players must learn how to place clones strategically to get them to walk, push, jump, and activate buttons in just the right way.
The original copy can walk through the checkpoints, but all clones will disappear when the original walks through. Sometimes, it seems like there is no way to get a clone to perform a task without the original having to walk through a checkpoint first.
Players can send clones away manually by tapping each one’s icon in the upper left corner of the screen. This is helpful when you are faced with lasers that will kill the clones. If you don’t want to risk having one of them walk into a laser, tap the icon to send it away.
Players are graded on their performance on each level. You can earn a higher score for completing the puzzles fast and not killing any clones. My average score is C-.
This is a very good-looking, unique game. It incorporates a bit of side-scrolling platform mechanics with puzzle solving action. It reminds me a bit of multiplayer mode in Portal, when players must work together to open the exit door.
There is very little in the way of instructions inside the game. I didn’t understand how to create a clone and had to search for instructions on the Internet. There should be a bit more help in the tutorial level.
Instantion costs $1.99, which is a great price for a game like this. It features rich puzzle challenges, nice graphics, and engaging gameplay. The replay value is high because you can score better when you replay levels with better success and in shorter time.
This game is very unique. Players who enjoy the complexities of games like Portal will appreciate the cooperative mechanics. However, since you control all of the clones, making sure they work together is harder than you may think. This game is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store today.