We first discovered unconventional platformer/puzzle game Eyez back in June, right around E3 time when we interviewed the developer. The game instantly caught my eyes with its beautiful hand-drawn Asian artwork and striking use of colors. It also packs some highly creative puzzle mechanics that you don’t see every day. Oh, and it runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8.
Since Eyez’ release, developer Hua “Rex” Chen has steadily updated it with tweaks and compatibility improvements. The latest update even adds better touch controls. Head past the break for more update details, screenshots, and more!
Eyez update history
- Jump controls optimized
- Other minor tweaks
- 256MB-RAM devices support
- Jump button added (Enable in Options - Game Settings - Jump Button)
- Improved jumping control for multi-touch control scheme
- New instruction added in 1-3
- Minor bug fixes
- ESRB, PEGI, DJCTQ and CSRR rating certificates added
Compatibility to the max
Making Eyez available to as many users as possible was Rex’s first priority, hence he registered ratings certificates with all of the important agencies. DJCTQ is the Brazilian ratings system, home of loyal reader Blanka, I mean Guilherme. CSRR is Taiwan’s rating system.
Along the same lines, Eyez is now compatible with devices that have 256 MB. Low-cost Windows Phone 7 handsets like the Lumia 610 have 256 MB of RAM instead of the standard 512, just as low cost Windows Phone 8 handsets boast 512 MB instead of 1 GB. It’s funny how one developer working on his own can make a game run with less RAM but larger companies like Gameloft can’t be bothered to do the same with most of their games.
After playing Eyez on my own for a while, my chief complaint about the game was its unconventional jumping mechanic. Instead of a jump button, players had to swipe up to get the heroine Mint off the ground. It worked, but proved more cumbersome than the single jump button we’re used to from most platforming games.
Luckily Rex took that feedback into account and added a proper jumping button to the game, going on to optimize it with this latest update. The jump button feels much better than before and makes the game easier to play,although it's still a bit too floaty. The jump button can even be repositioned for comfort.
That said, it’s still at odds with the controls for switching between and activating Eyez’ special ‘Red Eye’ and ‘Blue Eye’ modes, both of which are used for puzzle solving. Swiping down to switch between modes and double tapping anywhere on-screen to turn them on and off doesn’t mesh perfectly with button-based design. Optimally, adding two more buttons for activation and switching would create a cohesive, more standardized experience.
Eyez on the future
One important feature that has yet to make it in an update is the planned third act of the game. As of now, Eyez consists of two sets of levels. These levels tell part of the game’s narrative, but they don’t conclude it. Rex has promised a third set of levels that keeps things going – hopefully we’ll see those before the end of the year.
Paul (left) and Rex standing in front of the Titanfall statue at E3's E3 2013 press conference
In Eyez, Mint finds herself trapped in a strange and dying world. To uncover what has happened to her and make her escape, she’ll need to take advantage of her new color-based powers.
First she’ll learn to use the Blue Eye ability. This freezes the scrolling of the screen and makes it so that when Mint exits one side of the screen, she’ll come out the other side. Soon she gain the “Red Eye” ability that lets her walk or jump along the borders of the screen. Both powers will help her get through puzzling levels. Check out the video above or our original article for more details.
- Eyez – Windows Phone 7 and 8 – 34 MB - $1.99 – Store Link