incurvio Review—Small and Terrible

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SYNC’s incurvio is one of the launch titles for the PlayStation Mobile program. It is unique, as it is not your usual puzzler. Instead, what we have here is a real-time strategy game. Upon launching the game, though, you will notice that this title has low production values. Hence you should lower your expectations—yet it doesn’t matter how low you set the bar, as it will still massively disappoint you.

incurvio evokes Osmosis Jones, in that you control immune system-type forces that are fighting viruses. The host creature is not known; there are no introductions of any kind on what the basic premise of the game is. Yes, there is a manual, but it looks like the devs just copy-pasted everything from Word. The font is horrible, the presentation just lazy. And the usual questions are not answered. I am not expecting a really complex storyline, but at least give me something.

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The color motif is jarring. With the glory of the PlayStation Vita’s OLED screen, colors pop in magnificent fashion, but in this particular title, it’s just too colorful, the magenta-pink spectrum dominating the screen. The real problem is that there is no shading, with the colors just spread in a high contrast. It looks like the graphics were done using basic graphics software.

The gameplay is straightforward. You create “plants” in given nodules. There are resource-gathering ones and unit-creating ones. Your only objective is to destroy the mother plant of your opponent while successfully defending your turf.

Controls are just terrible. You can’t even press Start to pause the game; you have to touch that Menu button in the far right corner of the screen. You can’t just use the buttons because, apparently, the game treats the Vita as a touchscreen device only.

The difficulty in this is that you have to touch and hold on the plants to pop out their menus, and you have to continue pressing the screen while you choose your desired option. With incurvio being a real-time strategy game, this makes the whole deal far more convoluted than it should be. If this were turn-based, I could take my time. But the AI opponent apparently has a million fingers since it can send units while building things at the same time. And the AI is not that great, too, because it won’t command its units to attack your units if they meet each other along the way. They just go straight to your base and destroy your plants incessantly.

Your units have no independent thoughts, since you have to input commands for everything they do. Even if your base gets overrun by enemy units, they’ll just stand there. Ordering them is a pain, also, since it is exactly the same as building the plants.

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The PlayStation Mobile lineup is now already hefty. But truthfully, there are no real-time strategy games yet for those who are itching for one. You’ll just have to wait. incurvio wouldn’t even get any attention if it were released as a Flash-based browser game. I can’t believe this got out of the gate when it certainly plays like a beta build.

2/10

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Comments

4 Responses to “incurvio Review—Small and Terrible”
  1. Granpire says:

    It has a nice logo, though, doesn’t it? :P

  2. O says:

    An impressive 2 out of 10 for the most expensive title on PSM to date. Someone needs to re-evaluate their quality assurance team.

  3. Granpire says:

    I think Quality Assurance teams are there more to catch bugs than assure quality. As ironic as that is. Besides, I doubt a small, unknown developer is likely to have a Quality Assurance team in the first place.

  4. Huicho says:

    Shocked, the logo does look nice. :P

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