I shouldn’t need to reiterate this but a game doesn’t need to be big or complicated to be good. Sometimes we can have a lot of fun with titles that are simple, and to follow on from that thought, just because a premise is simple doesn’t mean that the game attached to it is going to be. The title we’ll be looking at together is W.A.R.P. and I’ve been playing this infuriating puzzler on my PS4. I can honestly say that simple W.A.R.P. very much is; easy it absolutely, (painfully,) is not.
The idea behind W.A.R.P. couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is guide your ship around a level and into a warp point. You’ll need to do this without running out of fuel, crashing, or getting blown to bits by one of several nasties patrolling the levels. So, the idea couldn’t be simpler, right? My god, this game is frustrating! I think that’s part of the point though. This is the sort of game that on the surface doesn’t look very long. I think I counted about 30 levels stretched over three planets making up the adventure mode. This means absolutely bugger all because you find yourself restarting those levels a lot.
This might look easy to navigate. I’m telling you now; that little scenario is a recipe for pain.
You can only move your ship with controlled bursts of its thrusters. This means that if you hit accelerate for literally a millisecond too long, you’ll go careening off into a wall or other object and disappear in a little explosion. You can expect this to quickly become a regular occurrence, so this is not a game for those of you out there that rage easily. Fortunately, you don’t have a life count in W.A.R.P. and you can repeat a level as many times as you like. By this I mean, as many times as it takes you to succeed or bury your controller in your TV screen; whichever comes first.
I would like to think of myself as an incredibly patient gamer. I don’t mind rerunning a level numerous times before beating it. That’s sort of the fun that comes with what we do. This being said, however, there is still a saying that goes something along the lines of the definition of insanity being the act of repeating exactly the same process and expecting a different outcome. Sometimes you can see exactly what you need to do, you just don’t quite have the skill to do it. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m well and truly stuck. Singularities can bite me. Making an already difficult level worse is something that you can’t fly past without being repelled into a wall. Fortunately, there’s another route that doesn’t involve having to go near this big blue headache. Unfortunately, it involves piloting a ship with serious drift issues through a gap just a little bit wider than the size of the craft. I will go back, and I will prevail, I will have to have a break first, though, or I’m going to end up with a broken controller.
See that fuel gauge in the top corner? Yeah, time is of the essence and you don’t want it running out.
W.A.R.P. is the sort of game that makes you want to go back and succeed at something that’s absolutely infuriating you. There are so many games where you think that something is too hard and you just give up. Here, you feel like you can’t surmount an obstacle but you should be able to. This makes you go back for more again and again and that’s why this title is fun. I can absolutely guarantee that you’ll get completely stuck but dogged determination and a pure will to succeed will get you through. Then you’ll meet the next set of obstacles and get completely stuck again, and so on until you complete this game. This being said, I foresee all this being a slow process and this makes a relatively short-looking game the perfect length. Those of you that like to speed-run things, make up your own challenges, god-run games, etc. will have a blast here too. If you really want to punish yourself there are a bunch of ways to do it here. If you can run this entire game without a single death though you’re an absolute legend and I’m not sure I believe you. Pictures or it didn’t happen.
W.A.R.P. is a fun, infuriating arcade puzzler. I would completely recommend this game to those of you that are willing to literally brute force a game into submission. The graphics are perfect for the style of play and the music, though simple, fits the title perfectly. The controls are the thing that will be somewhat divisive here. On account of this game being about precision and accuracy the controls are sensitive at best and the tiniest miscalculation can and will end you. This is obviously the fun of the game but if you can’t get used to very little doing an awful lot you’ll find yourself in for a really frustrating time.
This is not a game for the easily frustrated and if you hate repeating yourself, W.A.R.P. is probably best left alone. For the rest of us, this is a game that has to be played to be believed and will absolutely be a challenge for those of you that like to give yourself a difficult time. For the price of £3.99 you really aren’t going to be losing much by just giving this title the old college try if you’re not sure whether this is going to be the correct brand of masochism for you. I know I’ll be coming back for more; in short bursts though as I value my sanity.
Not for the easily frustrated.
Look and feel - 7/10
Challenge - 9/10
Replayability - 7/10
Value for Money - 9/10
Controls - 7/10
W.A.R.P. is a brilliant arcade title if you’re willing to keep plugging away at it. This is a game that turns the difficulty up from the start and expects you to stay calm under pressure. If you think you can do all of the above then I totally recommend giving this infuriating action-puzzler a try. Those of you that want to do things at your own pace and those that are easily frustrated will definitely want to steer clear here for the sake of your blood pressure.
Hailing from Southport England, Alex started his gaming career in the late 80s on a Commodore 64. Since that time he's either owned or played on virtually every console released. Alex happens to... Read more...