Warp, developed by Trapdoor and published by EA Games, is a wonderful stealth, puzzle game that I first had the pleasure of seeing demoed at PAX East 2011. It’s been a long time in the making but has finally debuted as the first title in Microsoft’s House Party promotion on Xbox Live Arcade.
In Warp, you play as the cute and lovable little alien, Zero, who has been captured by the evil humans and experimented on. Using your unique alien abilities, your goal is to escape the labyrinthine facility that you’ve been held in. True to the name of the game, Zero can ‘warp’ through walls and into certain obstacles. Once inside an object he can explode it from within. Including his human captors sending them to very gruesome ends. Zero will obtain more abilities as the game progresses, each with upgrades available using grubs that are hidden throughout the game (for those, like myself, who love the collection aspects of games).
Warp is definitely a fun title and one that certainly lives up to its promise of a stealth puzzle game. The challenge comes from discovering the best route though the facility without getting caught. One shot from the enemy will kill so there is a definite need for perfection here. During my play through, there were several sections that required me to play over and over again until I got it right, but, unlike other games that make you do this, Warp did not become frustrating. It was actually a joy in attempting to find the best way through a room. Since the game isn’t designed around non-stop frantic action, the ability to stop and think is what made this title intriguing.
Having said that, however, there are a few spots that broke out of this mould and, as a result, just didn’t feel right. Near the beginning of the game, you are being chased by, what I can only assume is one of the bosses in the game. This section required a frantic run through the facility warping from one room to another without being hit by the enemy. With the rest of the game being about stealth and puzzle solving, this action sequence just didn’t seem to feel right.
Another aspect of Warp that I was not expecting at all, was the use of profanity in an otherwise light and humorous game. The use of the F-bomb was so blatant that I was actually taken aback by it and a little put off. While it doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of the game for me personally, I was disappointed that this is now a game I can not or will not share with my kids.
Regardless, Warp is a wonderful new title that is certainly worth playing and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game. This is a great game to start off the House Party with (just don’t invite the kids).
Trapdoor, I gave you an hour, and I am IMPRESSED.