Considering the slow evolution of consoles and the rapid advancement of mobile devices, it’s only a matter of time before mobile games exhibit the same kind of graphical fidelity and gameplay complexity as Sony’s and Microsoft’s home consoles. Games like Eternity Warriors and Dead Trigger, for example, can already be mistaken for highly polished console titles. Unfortunately, the mobile market is saturated with free to play shovelware, and very few games can be described as complete experiences. Amazon Game Studios aims to change that. Their latest platformer adventure, Tales From Deep Space, is the perfect example of what mobile gaming can offer when treated like a proper gaming platform.
Developed in collaboration with Frontier Developments, Tales From Deep Space sets out to redefine mobile gaming with incredibly intuitive gameplay mechanics, gorgeous visuals and a narrative filled with charm and humor. No paywall and no micro transaction. At only $6.99, Tales From Deep Space is an absolute steal. Much like a great Pixar movie, Tales From Deep Space appeals to both kids and adults. Its gameplay is easy to learn, but provides enough challenge to keep older gamers thoroughly engaged.
"Their latest platformer adventure, Tales From Deep Space, is the perfect example of what mobile games can offer when treated like a proper gaming platform."
The story takes place on Big Moon, a colorful space station where traveling salesman E and his luggage drone CASI try to escape after the entire facility goes into lockdown. Big Moon is full of life and personality. The alien inhabitants are funny and expertly designed. E and CASI can talk to most creatures to either gain clues or just listen to their hilarious Simlish-inspired dialogue.
"As the game progresses, further abilities are unlocked allowing new areas to be explored in classic Metroidvania fashion."
The gameplay consists of basic platforming, shooting and lots of puzzle solving. To overcome environmental puzzles, players switch between E and CASI when venturing via single player, or they can choose to play locally with another Fire HDX user where each player controls a hero individually. E and CASI are skilled at different things, and it’s up players to conquer obstacles by utilizing their unique abilities. E can shoot enemies and crawl through pipes, and CASI can jump high and perform close-range melee attacks. As the game progresses, further abilities are unlocked allowing new areas to be explored in classic Metroidvania fashion.
Tales From Deep Space is unique in how it employs touchscreen controls. Players swipe and hold in the direction they want the characters to move, and the heroes automatically navigate the environment. Angular swipes are used for platforming, and tapping on enemies switches to attack mode. The gameplay is smooth and responsive. Occasionally, the game mistakes a sudden move swipe for the attack command, but it never becomes a real issue.
"Tales From Deep Space is easily one of the best mobile games, period, and it costs next to nothing."
Tales From Deep Space is visually stunning. The Pixar-esque environments and characters radiate with vibrant colors and exquisite designs. Every corner of Big Moon has been crafted with a lot of love and care, and the entire game runs buttery smooth. There’s even an accompanying comic that players can download for free. It’s written by Tom Waltz (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and illustrated by Ciro Cangialosi (Money Island), and it’s definitely worth checking out.
The only downside is that Tales From Deep Space is exclusive to Amazon’s Fire HDX, so other Android users can’t enjoy this fantastic adventure. To be fair, it’s developed by their very own studio, so it’s hard to criticize them for wanting to support their own hardware. Frankly, if Amazon Game Studios continues to develop games of such high caliber, the Fire HDX will become the definitive mobile gaming device. Tales From Deep Space is easily one of the best mobile games, period, and it costs next to nothing.
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Fire HDX 8.9