Red Game Without A Great Name Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD



In an alternate France there exists only two things: death and carrier birds. Well, maybe I’m understating that a bit, but an alternate France is exactly the stage where iFun2all Ltd.’s Red Game Without A Great Name is set. Initially an IOS game, I was given the opportunity to the play the recent PC port on Steam.


In alternate France, nothing seems to be built to benefit man’s well-being.

For a set up, Red Game Without A Great Name does not give you much. The story is light enough to where there is only one single cut scene at the very start of the game. No dialogue is uttered, no text or dialogue is feed to you as the player to give an explanation of just why or how France has all of sudden become a technologically steampunk-driven environment where everything is composed in either black or…you guessed it, red. Furthermore,in this alternate reality, mechanical birds are used in a like manner to how carrier pigeons were actually utilized in the Franco-Prussian War. The reason why the people in France were actually using birds to transport messages between each other was, to put it as simple as possible, due to the treacherous terrain swelled by war. If they (the people) would have tried to undertake such duties of carrying out the messages themselves, they most likely would have been killed. In what I saw as a cool allegorical transplant, the sole crux of the gameplay of Red Game Without A Great Name is to guide one of these mechanical carrier birds through the dangerously designed layout of this alternate version of France, which too looks like it has seen better days.

It would be a more adequate phrase to say that the game guided me more so than I it. To clarify Red Game Without A Great Name does not really give you control of any singular object. For a game that initially presents itself as a typical 2.5D sidescroller where you control a bird, you would think that obviously you would be given liberty to control said bird’s directional movement, but no. Yes, the bird flies, but at it’s own will. What you can only control is in what direction the bird will teleport to. Yeah, that’s right, I said it, this bird teleports -why not?

This sole control mechanic is maintained through a click & drag process where you click on the bird with the computer mouse’s left button and drag to your given destination. As a form of connecting point A to B, a black, dotted line is drawn between the bird and the exact direction you want him to travel. As is the benefits of teleportation are in this red-drenched universe, you are able to make your bird teleport through any solid object in your hopes to get him through the level alive. Just don’t have your hopes up right away.


Don’t like walls? Well then, do I have a game for you.

Unlike the self-conscious, cheeky title of the game suggest, Red Game Without A Great Name can be quite the challenge. Across the sixty levels of play (or work, pending on your preference), there are a fair amount of obstacles that will have at full alert. Whether it be barbed wire, pointed edges, sharp grates that clamp down like the jowls of a man-made alligator, or razor-edged windmills that spin at differing speeds, the environment is anything but your friend. Not even the game’s camera is on your side: it moves at it’s own speed, and, very much like the addicting Speedrunners, if you find yourself out of line of sight, it’s back to square one. Even the bird is a cautionary factor as it never ceases to fly of it’s own accord, even if it is headed straight for a quick death. So really the only chance of passing any level is to rely on your own point & click reflexes. Some of the latter, more difficult levels will doubly challenge these reflexes. In fact, after my playthrough, I had to give my right arm (the arm I use to control the mouse) a good rest as it felt like I was getting an early onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. This isn’t entirely an indicator of a negative factor of the game, but rather of the addictive nature of the “one more attempt” response this game can inflict; something that games of this nature tend to do, especially when they are good. And this would be one of those good ones. Though, not without at least some faults.

Perhaps the most prominent inconsistency I found with the game was the responsive of the click & drag peripheral. There were more than a few times where I knew for a fact that I had performed the controls properly, but for some reason the game did not respond. Grand it, this is a PC port of a game that was originally designed to be played on a touchscreen, and I was playing on a wireless mouse, but there were unequivocal moments where I knew that my death could not be attributed to my inability to react quickly enough. Secondly, the game attempts to aid you in the form of random power-ups you come across. One such power up allows for the mechanical bird to sustain a temporary invincibility. As much as this allowed my stress levels to lay off for a bit, it felt more like gameplay extension of the game’s title screen music, which though very catchy, is more of a ruse than anything else, and thusly antithetical to the challenging nature of the rest of the game. Thankfully, these power-ups tend to be few and far between.

Though as a whole, I would have to say that I did enjoy my time with this game. Well…maybe the word ‘enjoy’ is a little superficial. Red Game Without A Great Name had me cursing at the screen many many many times, but it was mostly for all the right reasons.