Two Tribes, the folk behind the brilliant Toki Tori 2+, is steadily releasing a collection of its older games on the Wii U eShop. The Two Tribes classic series started off with a Wii U-enhanced port: the original Toki Tori, which included all of the content from the PC version. The second game in the classics range, EDGE, was originally released on iOS back in 2008, by developer mobigame. It was later ported to Steam, where it got the free expansion pack, EDGE Extended. This Wii U version is once again based on the Steam release and contains all of the content from that game, but also boasts improved D-pad and analogue stick controls, 1080p resolution and a promised frame rate of sixty frames per second.
At its core, EDGE is just a simple puzzle-platform title, where the objective of the game is to roll a cube around simple, blocky environments, collecting smaller cubes known as Prisms, before reaching the exit of the level. When a level has been completed, players are presented with a results screen which displays the time taken to complete the level, the amount of deaths accumulated, how many Prisms were collected and the amount of EDGE Time that was achieved during that level. EDGE Time is accumulated by slightly latching on to another cube, initiating a timer - the D-pad or left stick can be gently tapped in the preferred direction to extend the duration of this process - and the amount of time acquired will be subtracted by the completion time for that level.
Depending on how well the player performed in the level, they will receive a rank; with D being the worst and S+ being the absolute best. However, in order to obtain an S rank or higher, players must collect all of the Prisms scattered around the level, including the ones that are in hard-to-reach locations, which, in turn, increases the amount of replay value for players who want obtain the best rank in every single stage.
Upon progressing through the game, things become a lot more interesting and new elements are thrown into the mix. For example: moving cubes which players must latch on to, switches, moving platforms, cubes which take on the form of objects, such as a mech in a few levels. There are also platforms which fall when the player moves on to them and the ability to transform into a smaller cube to get through tight spaces.
The controls found in EDGE are relatively simple, with only the D-pad and left stick being utilised to control the cube. It must also be noted that these controls are much more accurate than the touch controls found in the Android and iOS versions of the game. Due to the isometric view used during play, the controls may confuse some players when identifying which direction is which, but Two Tribes has rectified this issue by including the option to change the direction of up from northeast to northwest, making the game feel more natural to those who have a hard time with the default option.
Of course, accompanying the cleverly-designed levels is a fantastic soundtrack, which is inspired by retro 8-bit games, albeit providing a modern twist on the style. This soundtrack will provide the player with some sanity during the more frustrating levels, thanks to its catchy and upbeat nature.
As well as including all of the normal and bonus levels from the original EDGE title, this version also includes the content from EDGE Extended - an expansion pack, which was also free in the Steam version of the game. Amongst these levels, there are some more interesting designs, such as the run-in with a dark cube, which causes havoc and attempts to prevent the player's cube from reaching the level exit.
There are certainly a few things other indie developers can learn from Two Tribes; the most important one, though, is delivering a top quality experience with a more than reasonable amount of content at a fantastic price!
EDGE is a great example of value for money. With over a hundred levels to conquer, plus a familiar ranking system, there is plenty to do to keep players busy. Not only is there a fair amount of content, but the game's discounted price of £1.79 makes this easy to recommend to anyone who owns a Wii U and wants a fun, unique experience. This low price point lasts up until January 2nd, 2014, so those interested have plenty of time to grab it. Don't hesitate; at this price, the game is a steal. Go buy it now!