Welcome to the first Android Amusements installment of 2013, starring Naught! Wow, I guess that sounds a bit depressing, given the title of Blue Shadow Games’ Android game. Let me assure you that it’s not. (Confession – I almost typed naught instead of not.) Naught is a lovely adventure about a cat trying to save a tree to get his heart’s desire in what is probably the best And Yet It Moves style game I’ve seen since… And Yet It Moves.
As mentioned, the star of Naught is Naught. He’s a pet cat that recently died and was buried beneath a tree by his loving owner. Except this isn’t an ordinary tree. This tree is special, and about to have its own life ended by dark creatures intent on destroying its roots. If Naught is willing to go underground and help the tree, the tree will grant the cat’s wish.
With that, Naught begins. Naught is constantly moving forward through the level and the player must move it left or right, shifting the environment to help Naught collect diamonds, avoid enemies and reach the end of each area in the hopes of saving the tree and, perhaps, saving himself. This is accomplished by a number of means, though the best of them involves actually turning the Android smartphone or tablet left or right to move the world around Naught. (Hence the And Yet It Moves comparison.)
One thing I would say is that Naught is best played on a smartphone if you want to use gyroscopic controls to play. That isn’t to say it isn’t good on a tablet, but rotating and moving around an almost 9″ tablet got to be annoying after a while and while there are touchscreen and virtual d-pad control schemes, I feel like you should be playing Naught with the motion controls because that’s when it really shines. Still, if you need to use the touch controls, which I found better than the virtual d-pad, due to calibration issues, you’ll still find this to be an enjoyable and distinctive app.
Of course, part of Naught‘s uniqueness stems from its visuals. Everything is black and white in the game’s underground world, though there can be shades of grey for effect in the background. It’s striking, effective and even lovely, in a way. As well as it works, it does hide hidden dangers. Everything around Naught is black and while and while typically sharp-and-pointy equals death, there are other dangers that can be hidden away by the stylish color scheme. By around the 10th level, you should know what will and won’t hurt or kill Naught.
Sadly, Naught won’t last for long. This app has 40 levels to conquer and I got through all of them within a week. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since I only paid $1 for the game, but I feel I should mention that the adventure could end up being brief. However, I could also see going back to Naught later. Levels can have hidden areas and there are diamonds to collect if you want the pride of knowing you found everything.
So that’s Naught, a rather relaxing, sometimes challenging, Android app I highly recommend checking out. If you do buy it though, get it through Google Play instead of Amazon, because it’s $0.99 there. For some reason, Amazon’s selling it for $1.99, a dollar more.