Review: FidoDido Tower Blitz


Some people say that old games never die, they're just remade. It certainly seems to be the case with FidoDido Tower Blitz. You play the familiar hand drawn character, tasked with painting an arena of coloured blocks, by jumping on them! Sounds simple? Not when you factor in the hazards and enemies. Sounds familiar? Quite possibly, read on to find out why!

Author: Synqua Games

Version Reviewed: 1.0

Download / Information Link

FidoDido Tower Blitz (FDTB) is actually a retro game, despite being a relatively new release. The game is a remake of the old classic Q*bert, which was released way back in 1982. I expect that will have been before the gaming 'career' of most readers. Even I couldn't quite remember it, so I have to give thanks to Ewan for his inexhaustible wealth of technological trivia and making the connection for me.

Loading screen and game story

The difference with this game is, rather than the lovable spit-ball-shooting Q*bert taking the spotlight, we have Fido Dido. The name may not ring a bell, but the hand drawn spikey hair might be familiar. Yes, this daring doodle was the mascot for a soft drink brand in the UK for many years. By some legal wizardry, he's been brought to life in several other games on the Ovi Store, by Synqua Games.

With the nostalgia segment of this review out of the way, what is the gameplay like? Well, for the purposes of this review, I shall assume that you, dear reader, have never played Q*bert. If you have, I suggest you skip to the conclusion :-)

Fido in action!

The playing field in FDTB will be rather confusing to our younger players, not quite as much for 'vintage' game players. The game graphics use a very old method of portraying a 3D environment from a 2D perspective. With this type of “isomorphic graphics”, there's no traditional up/down, left/right movements. Instead, you move in diagonal directions (relative to your screen). That is, lower+right to upper+left, and upper+right to lower+left.

The playing field is shown as either a triangle or diamond configuration of cubes. They're all at 45 degrees to the screen, and each row (from the top) is lower than the last. You move by jumping leftward or rightward to the row above or below your current position. The movements are realised by tapping in the corresponding quadrant of the screen. Being restricted to this type of movement is very confusing when we've all been trained to think in terms of up/down and left/right cardinal axes.

Talking of control, the game menus suffer from the same single-tap, double-tap confusion that many of us experienced with S60 5th Edition. This makes navigating around them a rather haphazard affair. Points deducted from the review total there!

The diamond board which features in higher levels

Using the corresponding screen quarters is a step up from using the cursor keys or a d-pad, which are of course rotated 45 degrees to movement axes of the game. However, I wish there had been some 'dead space' between the control areas. While playing single handedly, I often found my thumb didn't reach quite far enough above the (invisible) centre line of the screen. In turn, Fido often jumped into oblivion because of my mis-press!

This is what happens when the control system confuses you!

As mentioned earlier, the objective of the “Classic” game is to change all the cubes to a target colour by jumping off them. In the early levels, this is a simple matter of visiting each cube once. In later levels, you have to take each cube through a series of colours. That is, the board has to be covered several times. The “Survival” game mode has you pitted against two enemies and the object is to last as long as possible without needing to paint cubes.

Fido with intermediate colours!

The game has a set of enemies to make things more interesting. Paint cans roll down the board that undo your hard work, de-colouring the playing board. Later on in the game, there are crazy painters who'll run around doing the same. Fortunately, you can intercept them and kick them off the board.

You are not the top predator in this game though. Bowling balls randomly roll down the board which can knock you into space. Beyond those, there are other nasties which will move around the board, trying to chase you down. Your only way of fighting back is to pick up water bombs and lay them as mines to get rid of your hunters! There are other hazards, like glue cubes and freeze balls, which restrict your movement, making you easier to catch too!

Fido evading bad guys!

For those looking for a quick and easy game, FDTB could be quite frustrating, mostly due to the non-standard control system. If you can get past that (or even enjoy the challenge), then FDTB turns into an entertaining game of cat and mouse. It becomes a challenge of reactions and planning, working out your route, evading capture, and not jumping off the board in the process!

Fortunately, FidoDido Tower Blitz is free in the Ovi Store. So why don't you download it and explore your gaming heritage?

David Gilson for All About Symbian, 20th June 2011  

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