It’s a tale as old as time — boy meets girl, boy betrays girl, boy gets chased down by a monster intent on boy’s destruction. Luckily with a trusty shotgun at his side and plenty of persistence on the player’s part, death at the hands of a swirling mass of tentacles can be avoided long enough for rComplex‘s silhouetted protagonist to run, jump and slide his way to safety.
Prepare yourself for visuals as attractive as they are simplistic, a catchy (though repetitive) soundtrack, and some of the most frustrating gameplay to land on the App Store in quite some time.
If you’ve played any of the other many auto-runners on the App Store, you probably already have a pretty good idea about what rComplex is about — momentum. With a creature hell-bent on ripping you limb from limb at your back and no way to permanently subdue the beast, survival largely comes down to footwork.
That’s not to say you’re entirely defenseless, however. A shotgun blast will cause the creature to retreat for a few moments, and should you run out of ammunition the protagonist is equipped with a one-time use scythe that will release him from the monster’s tentacled grasp. And while bullets and extra scythes are scattered throughout levels, they’re really more of an insurance policy to give you some breathing room for platforming than a solution to your troubles.
While vaulting over and sliding under objects, the player is tasked with collecting a set number of ”Memory Cubes.” These items move the story along, allowing the protagonist to recall a memory and deliver the next ham-fisted line of corny monologue. Upon collecting the required number of cubes, the stage will mercifully end and let you begin the excruciating process of traversing the next level as the game trudges to its conclusion.
Even after having received updates to address complaints, rComplex still has a number of issues. Thanks to controls that are incredibly slow to respond, I frequently found myself crashing into objects that should have been easily cleared. This combined with the fast pace of the game means that when an obstacle appears, players are only given a split-second to react.
If the controls weren’t so incredibly sluggish it wouldn’t be an issue, but rComplex isn’t only broken, it’s incredibly unforgiving. Stumbling more than once or twice will almost surely engage the player in a battle of attrition with the monster that will inevitably end in being sent back to the beginning of the level. I frequently found myself in situations where I was forced to fire my last shotgun shell at the monster whilst desperately hoping that last cube would appear and let me escape from the nightmare.
After beating your head against the wall for a few minutes it will become clear that this title doesn’t have a lot to offer aside from a pretty face and infectious beats. Unlike other games with similar conceits, rComplex isn’t respectful of your time or difficult in any meaningful way. People unfortunate enough to play rComplex in its current state won’t be rising to a challenge or improving their skillsets at a genre that requires quick reaction times, but wrestling against a poorly designed game that could have used a little more time in the oven.
Run, run as fast as you can — away from rComplex if at all possible.
This review is based on v.1.3 of the iOS game rComplex.