We would not be surprised if Myth Makers: Orbs of Doom came about in a board meeting brainstorming session, where someone said, “Okay, how can we trick children into shelling out twenty bucks, and then proceed to make them cry and throw their remote into the wall?” Data Design Interactive specializes in gaming trash designed to sneak money from unsuspecting wallets with the least effort invested in art, sound, programming, design, and testing. Note that those categories basically cover every aspect of games.
Myth Makers: Orbs of Doom continues the tradition by having every aspect feel cheap, ugly, and insulting to your hard earned money, and it’s irrelevant that it’s a budget title, because this game wouldn’t be worth a two dollar download. In fact, if you found this game free on the internet, you’d stop playing it after five minutes at the most.
As the game loads, the foreboding cheapness has already begun. There is no music or ambient sound on the main menu – we thought we’d forgotten to turn on the TV’s volume. You choose your character from an assortment of unimaginative, bland children in “goofy” costumes. Of course your choice means nothing – all ten or so characters play exactly the same.
The gameplay is a cheap knockoff of the “monkey puzzle” minigame in Super Monkey Ball. You tilt the remote to tilt the entire game world, which in turn causes your ball to roll along. The moment you begin to do this, the infuriating frustration begins. The Havok physics engine should bode well, yet the simple act of tilting the world doesn’t work consistently. Sometimes you’ll tilt the remote a little bit and get the appropriate gentle forward roll, and sometimes you’ll fly forward way too fast. Never mind that the calibration is just too damn sensitive even when it works.
The controls aren’t actually horribly broken, and it’s possible to get used to them. It’s too bad that the levels are designed with pure sadism aimed at the player. Someone needs to grab the game’s level designer (yes, there’s only one) by the lapels and scream into his face “GAMES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, NOT REPEATED, EXCRUTIATING PUNISHMENT!”
The first few levels lull you into a sense of comfort with their simple challenges. Then suddenly you’re expected to navigate a bridge roughly four inches wide and 200 feet long. How about slopes that can only be scaled if you gain enough momentum on the preceding down-slope, which of course is littered with obstacles designed to slow you down? How about twisting, narrow sections with bumps built into them that alternate with dips, all designed to make you fall to your death over, and over, and over?
Did we mention that there are no checkpoints? Be prepared to finally make it to the end of a long, long level on the 30th try, only to fall off mere feet from the ending gate. You can just hear the level designer cackling at the misery of countless children hidden somewhere under the unbelievably irritating music that repeats in a 10 second loop. Data Design must be stopped. Do not give them any more money. They are the equivalent of those movie studios that produce straight to DVD knockoffs of blockbusters in a cynical, lazy attempt to swindle cash from uninformed customers.
Feb 29, 2008
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