Developer: Midnight Sea Studios | Publisher: 3D Realms || Overall: 6.0/10
From 2 guys named Josh and one guy named Joshua, comes ZIQ, the runniest arcade runner you’ve yet to play. Featuring a snarky, talking… thing, you are his experiment, supposedly named ZIQ, and you run, jump and die hundreds of times getting through a game that feels like it was made for a phone. The whole point is to rank on leaderboards, I guess, cause there’s not much else to do other than master the challenge put forth.
The idea behind ZIQ is that you get through a certain set of obstacles while changing polarity, between blue and orange, and collecting the correct sequence of colored orbs. All of the orbs become the color of your polarity, so you are “in control” as far as that goes. Along with that, you move left, center, right, jump, and perform all of the combinations of those actions you can think of as you progress through the stages. The pace of the game doesn’t break until you die, at which point you reset the current stage you are in (there seems to be some sort of checkpoints involved, though) and try not to die again. The stages also seem to be randomized so you’re not progressing through anything that is “designed,” preventing any memorization from occurring.
In one run you have three lives, and your ultimate goal is to score as much as possible. The speed of the game is actually quite fast so you’ll have to think pretty quick. After a few tries, I was getting the hang of it and my points began to progressively get higher. With less than 100 people on the leaderboards, you can get pretty high on the list with minimal effort.
The music is fine, but it feels like there’s only one, maybe two songs that keep playing so it gets pretty redundant. The voice actor of the guy who keeps saying snarky things every time you die is fine, but there also doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of variety in what he says. The theme doesn’t change, but new elements pop up every now and then that you didn’t see before, so you’re able to focus more on the puzzle aspects of the running than needing to appreciate a range of locales you may run past.
So, is it fun? Sure, I had fun for a little bit once I got the hang of it, but there’s literally nothing else to do or work towards in this game. You’re not unlocking any cosmetics or new areas or new game modes or anything. The game reminds me of a less fun version of Audiosurf, which creates levels out of music you load into it, and I played enough of that.