Nyoqix Review—Life in a Clothes Dryer
As someone who grew up before it existed, I realize how easy it is to take for granted how the internet has brought the world together. People in other countries and on other continents are no longer strangers you might meet in a once-in-a-lifetime trip but instead people you might talk to every day. Japan is one of those few exceptions, thanks to the language barrier. We get bits and pieces of their culture and products, but they are almost always filtered somehow—dubbed into English, subtitled, and localized.
One of the more interesting aspects of the PlayStation Mobile program is that it lets Japanese developers cut out the middleman; they don’t need to go through a third party to bring their products to the rest of the world. So it lets us see other things they create besides anime and JRPGs. Nyoqix is one of those games, from Zener Mobile.
The name makes it sound like it could be a Qix clone, but it’s very different, though still an arcade-type game. The best way to describe it is that you control a sheet of fabric softener in a spinning clothes dryer. Your goal is to keep the sheet (for lack of a better word) in the middle, despite being attracted to the sides of the the spinning circle. This attraction gets stronger the farther away you get from the center.
While you keep away from the walls, you need to guide the sheet so that the tail end of it knocks various spinning polygons out towards the walls. If you do it hard enough, the polygons break up. Once all the existing ones are broken up, more are added. And so on and so on until you lose.
It’s a very simple premise, but it’s also actually quite fun and addictive. I actually was going to try to review this a while back, but I simply could not figure out how to play the game. I tried for a few minutes and thought, “This is dumb!”, and deleted it. Since no one else wanted to review it, I decided to give it another go, this time being more patient, and reading on their website that the analog stick is used. Then I figured it out, and suddenly I spent an hour playing Nyoqix without realizing it.
Unfortunately, the game is so simple it almost plays itself. The game supports touch controls as well as the analog stick, and if you simply put your thumb or finger in the middle of the spinning circle you do surprisingly well. You’ll die eventually, but you can do about as well as I can do trying to play it with the stick.
There really aren’t much in the way of frills. No leaderboards, no unlockables, and the only thing really different is a practice mode, which actually doesn’t seem to be too much different except that it only lasts about 3 waves. It does claim to have a different experience every day you play it, though this basically means the objects in the spinning circle vary slightly.
Nyoqix is an unexpectedly fun little game. As simple as it is, it’s quite addictive. At the same time, it’s perhaps too simple (as you can play it by simply sticking your thumb in the middle of the screen), and despite that simplicity, it’s one of the highest priced games on PlayStation Mobile. I realize Japan has a somewhat different economy and things cost more there, and the yen is very strong against the dollar. But $5+ is a lot for a game that doesn’t offer much in terms of depth.