I must confess I do love a good stealth ’em up, and resultantly have spent a great deal of my time as a gamer concealed in cardboard boxes, lurking in shadows and waiting patiently for just the right time to pounce from my hidey-hole and slit an unsuspecting goon’s throat.
So Jailbreak: Voice Onrush, with its blend of sneaky action and strategic enemy evasion, instantly grabbed my attention. And just wouldn’t let go.
The game begins abruptly. Cast as a female kidnapee, you come to your senses locked inside a tiny room within a crumbling asylum. With no recollection of how you got there, or what your mysterious captors’ intentions are, understandably your first instinct is to snatch the nearest key-card and get the hell out.
Throbbing electronica and eery aural effects help get the heart pumping and set the tone perfectly for this thrilling dash through a complex network of dimly lit corridors. While the top-down perspective and rudimentary pixel graphics recall Solid Snake’s classic outings.
Broken up into a series of fast-paced mazes where bumping into an baddie means you’re toast, levels take obvious inspiration from arcade legend Pac-Man, yet the atmospherics and initial environments- the creepy medical facility, a computer lab filled with blinking terminals and so forth- put an interesting techno-noirish spin on the whole thing.
So while the game (intentionally) looks like a throwback to the 80’s, the gameplay feels fresh and quickly gets pretty damn addictive. Each stage of Jailbreak tasks you with more the less the same set of objectives- traverse the maze trying to find a hidden object (keys, crow-bars, switches etc), steer clear of enemies and and reach the exit in one piece.
It should get repetitive, but an array of special items that briefly furnish your character with outlandish super-powers (e.g. enhanced senses, extra speed, teleportation), the diversity between play areas/enemy types and break-neck pacing, means it never does.
The main event, the cat-and-mouse chases are incredibly exciting and strike the perfect balance between being frustratingly difficult and just-one-more-go addictive. Honestly I was glued to my device for the duration!
And for the best part I absolutely adored every panic-stricken second of the game, although did have some minor reservations.
Awkward controls sullied the experience to begin with, but ditching the swipe set-up for the joystick soon solved these teething problems (there’s also an accelerometer option for good measure). And while the main game is disappointingly short, unlockable extra modes go some way to ensuring you won’t feel short-changed.
At only 99 cents this comes highly recommended for those of you seeking a decent stealth game or just some old-school arcade kicks.
iFanzine Verdict: Metal Gear meets Pacman played out against a delightful backdrop of pixel styled labyrinthian settings. A bit short, but still a non stop thrill-fest from beginning to end.