Just in time for Halloween, the spooky tale of Nory comes to light! Nory’s Escape is an auto-runner where you help poor little Nory run from the clutches of an evil witch. Why exactly does the witch want him we don’t know, but we can only assume the worst with that dastardly grin on her face!
Plot isn’t exactly Nory’s Escape‘s strongest suit, but hey, it’s an platforming auto-runner and we’re here to platform. What Nory does excel in is excellent art design and visuals. Nory’s Escape is sporting a very whimsical art style – the worlds in the game look like they’ve been pulled straight out of a child’s dream. There’s a cool balance between magical and dangerous, just like a crazy dream would be like. You’ve got red and spotty mushrooms along with purple spiked ones – shake a guess at which one is the bad one!
Nory must run his way through eighteen levels of dense forests filled with all sorts of obstructions. Nory runs forward on his own, but the player must use a magical fairy to draw light paths to guide him. The paths can only be so long, so you will constantly need to redraw new paths. You can only have one path on the screen at a time as well because drawing a new one will dissipate the previous one. Combining this with a plethora of obstacles, Nory’s Escape becomes a tough-as-nails auto-runner focused on rote memorization.
While that isn’t inherently bad, Nory’s Escape – with its constant demands for strict memorization and lightning-fast reflexes – began to wear us out pretty early on into the experience. The first set of levels aren’t too bad, but when you hit the second set the difficulty ramps up. Players will need to draw really precise paths to maneuver around some of the tougher levels, and often times we felt like there was just too many things on the screen at once.
Nory himself isn’t the nimblest of kids as he’ll get caught on even the smallest inclines or tiny little hinges. Your paths aren’t going to be perfect and that just comes with the game being a mobile game, but the developers seemed to have forgotten this. Often times we found ourselves dying at obstacles we already knew were coming but our paths were just pixels off of the intended path, which as you can guess gets pretty frustrating.
Nory’s Escape quickly establishes early on that it’s very much a trial and error game. You’re going to die a lot because you just won’t be able to react in time to certain obstacles. But that’s okay, because after a couple runs through the levels you’ll have everything memorized… in an ideal setting, that is. Having strict level design focused on trial and error, again, isn’t a bad thing, but when you throw in a somewhat flimsy path drawing mechanic, the foundation gets a little unstable.
Nory’s Escape, as you can probably guess by now, is a very challenging game and while we love challenging games, they also need to be fair. A lot of our deaths going through this adventure felt cheap or unearned because most of them were caused by small technical issues like Nory getting stuck on something he shouldn’t have or our paths being a little wonky. Each level has gems you can collect and collecting all gems in a level set will unlock a “nightmare” level and we just shudder at the thought – the regular levels are hard enough!
Download Nory’s Escape on the App Store.