Hard Lines – Review

Platform | Release Date
iOS | June 9, 2011
Developed by Spilt Milk Games
Published by Spilt Milk Games
-Launch Trailer-

The Pitch:

Take on all comers, avoid collisions and score MILLIONS of points in this stunning game of skill and quick reflexes!

Guide our plucky underdog hero Lionel in his epic task to KILL ALL LINES, pick up lovely GLOWY THINGS, fight for survival (in SPAAAAAACE!) and most importantly DON’T CRASH! This is literally the funniest game you will ever play that has a glowing yellow line as the main character.Inspired by classic arcade games from years gone by (you know the ones we’re talking about!), we’ve brought them kicking and screaming onto your iOS device!

Outwit the hilarious AI in a never-ending quest for points and glory on the worldwide leaderboards!

Aim to beat your personal best or compete against friend’s high scores over 6 distinctly fast, fun and frantic gameplay modes.

I remember a time when games were much more simple. They had names like Solitaire, Mine Sweeper, and Snake. Yes, Snake, the venerable old time waster and staple of any Windows system. Clearly Spilt Milk Studios remembers that time too, because their latest game Hard Lines is a fantastic adaptation of this classic title.

Hard Lines excels because it’s an elegant variation on a theme. Much like Pac-Man Championship DX, Space Invaders Extreme, and Internet pornography, the notion is that a few good additions can breathe new life into a time tested concept. Hard Lines lets you play as the hero, Lionel, across six challenging game modes trying to achieve the highest score possible. Of these, my favorite was “Pinata” where you try to kill as many other lines as possible for sport and eat their pixelated entrails like some sort of linear Aztec warrior. “Survival” and “Gauntlet” modes also see you fighting the other lines for supremacy while they all crack one-liners, pun intended. There is also the classic “Snake” mode where you get to spend some quality one-on-one time having Lionel tell you jokes and gaining insight about how delicious “glowy things” are. Maybe that is why the lines want to kill one another, or maybe they are just jerks? Either way, the clever humor and personality injected into the them made me chuckle and added something extra while going for that new high score.

Spilt Milk has also done a bang up job of giving a new look and sound to an old dog. The graphics are crisp, colorful and trippy. Think Geometry Wars with slightly less geometry. The controls are tight and offer three different methods to get around the screen. Subtle auditory feedback when you touch the screen compliments the techno soundtrack nicely as well. All together it looks and feels great on a retina display. Like many new games on iOS, Hard Lines also has Open Feint built in so you can unlock achievements and compete against your friends and the world on the leaderboards.

There is a lot of talk going on right now about how rapidly games on mobile devices are evolving. While there is a place for highly detailed, in-depth experiences, I personally hope there will always be a place for games like Hard Lines. It’s simple, well-executed, incredibly addictive fun that will have you coming back over and over while sitting on the couch or waiting in line at the grocery store. I highly recommend it to anyone who has access to the App Store.

About Ben Daniels

Ben Daniels is Community Manager for Splitkick and co-host of the Rocket Jump podcast. He frequently disseminates misinformation.
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