Manhattan 2020 is an unique sort of game for your Windows Phone. It has a retro look to it with plenty of pixels and a very simple objective.
You play the role of a jetpack hero who is flying through a futuristic Manhattan. To help make your travels interesting, angry birds (that really look like bat - probably because of the pixels), helicopters and evil jetpackers try to mess you up.
While the game's objective sounds easy, Manhattan 2020 is a surprisingly challenging game. Jump on past the break to read more.
Simple yet challenging might be the best way to describe Manhattan 2020. The design and objectives are simple but the pace makes it challenging.
The main menu has two options, start the game or read the instructions. Game instructions are covered in one screen and presents things in a clear, easy to understand manner.
From the gaming screen, Manhattan 2020 has one control, a boost button that sits in the lower right corner of the screen. At the upper left corner you'll see your fuel level (that will replenish when not in use) and to the upper right you will find your distance traveled (your score) and your record distance (your high score).
To begin your travels, you simply tap the boost button and your off to the races. You can tilt your phone backwards to slow your forward pace as well as fly above the top of the screen.
Obviously, if you hit a bird, helicopter or evil jetpacker you explode and the game ends. But... if you also hit a building, the game is over. So there is not landing on a roof top to catch your breath.
Without the ability to land on a roof top, no matter how gingerly, Manhattan 2020 has a fairly quick pace to game play. One wrong move, one glance over at your girlfriend/boyfriend, one blink of the eye and the game could end dramatically.
The jetpack fuel level is just about right and replenishes just quick enough to have you avoid crashing into buildings.
The retro appearance doesn't bother me and works rather well for Manhattan 2020. I could see Manhattan 2020 being played on an old Atari gaming system or even a Commodore 64. The game ran smoothly with no glitches, bugs or crashes experienced.
The more I played Manhattan 2020, the more it grew on me. Call it stubborn pride but whenever I crashed after the first few buildings, I felt a sense of determination to try again to prove I could make it further in the game.
Manhattan 2020 is ad supported with a banner ad running along the bottom left corner of the screen. That may be the biggest nit I have with the game in that the ad just seemed out of place. It can also be a little distracting.
Overall, Manhattan 2020 would be a good addition to anyone's Windows Phone gaming library. Being ad supported, Manhattan 2020 is a free game and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
Update: Manhattan 2020 has been recently updated to bring online leaderboards to the game as well as a few under the hood performance tweaks.