‘Iota’ Tones Down Its Difficulty

Iota - Screen

The Cashie BrothersIota is a fantastic-looking indie game, one of the more visually-imaginative XBLIGs around. That it used Ikaruga‘s color-switching mechanic to spice up its platforming was a bonus that gave it some depth. So it was a bit of a letdown when the review found its reliance on nearly flawless runs in later levels to be a deal-breaker.

Not one to brush off criticism, the Developers have since released an update to the game. In addition to tightening up the controls and their input response time, your multi-hued robot now starts each stage with one extra tick on his life bar, with the possibility to scoop up a second ‘life’ in the course of the level. In practice, this cuts out almost all the frustration I experienced in the original playthrough, and the controls did feel more responsive during the trickier sequences.

As such, Iota now plays much less like a punishformer, leaving you no excuse to avoid its otherwise delightful charm.

10 thoughts on “‘Iota’ Tones Down Its Difficulty”

  1. I just am really enjoying this game.
    It is truly fun.
    The races tough are annoying.

    1. The update really brought out the best in Iota. Not that it wasn’t fun before, but the challenge was just a little too steep before it. For me, the races were either strangely-easy (I was ahead of the AI the whole time), or damn near impossible. I want to say I beat them all save for one, but that could be me giving myself too much credit. 🙂

    1. Iota may not be as big or as varied, but Outland showed you could transfer Ikaruga’s polarity-swapping to a platformer and make it work. The style fits a shooter, sure, but it’s always nice to see gameplay mash-ups in other genres.

  2. I’ll have to give this another go then. Thanks for the update on the update. I thought this game had so much potential and maybe they fixed it. The controls was my biggest issue but it is a beautiful game otherwise. Here’s hoping I enjoy it enough to give them money. Hell I might just do it just because they made an attempt at fixing it. Kudos in my books.

    1. I can vouch for the controls being much improved. You don’t ‘slide’ as much, there’s less of a delay in how the character accelerates, and the added ‘input’ speed all make the platforming much more solid.

      Case in point, I had a hell of a time completing the end sequence of jumps and polarity switches in stage six (?). With the update, I finished that part in only two tries. Everybody plays games differently, of course, but to see that kind of improvement in that one aspect of a level, it has to be working out. 🙂

    2. Tried it again and was so happy with it I bought it. Nice recovery on this game. Too bad not a lot of people will go back and revisit it because they don’t visit your site (or theirs) to know about the improvement. Thanks Tim.

    3. You’re entirely welcome. And that’s the sad but true part about it; not enough visibility for the indie games. Boob games get the coverage elsewhere (and here; I am part of the problem), but platformers and such, not nearly enough. The bright spot to Iota is, for whatever reason, people are finding it here via Google search and others, so at least there’s some recognition out there.

    1. I don’t know, to be honest, where I’d rank it for releases in 2013. It’s a beautiful game, a lot better with the new update, though it’s still missing a stronger narrative and finish. At least for me, it doesn’t have that same, certain ‘something’, as the Top 5 do.

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