I find I have a difficult time reviewing Lamp Eyes.
I can respect endless runner games for what they are; I’ve spent more than a few hours playing Sushi Boy Thunder and Temple Run. Lamp Interactive, an indie development studio from Bogor, Indonesia comprised of high school students, has created a unique take on the experience which is certainly an innovative look at the endless run concept.
Essentially, the only light allowing you to see forward come from your character’s eyes (hence the title Lamp Eyes), casting a small beam in front of the player as they’re continually chased by The Chaser. Levels are randomly generated, giving a nice variety in the landscape. Having played the game extensively over several hours, the random generation didn’t once start me out in non-space, on an immovable plane, in a pit, in front of a bomb, or anything of the sort – everything always started perfectly. Illuminated bombs pepper the darkness, and naturally stepping or landing on them spells your doom. What’s nice about the bombs, however, is that one can get something of a feel of the upcoming landscape due to the bombs’ placements, depending on the situation.
While it does sound somewhat limiting and difficult to see very little in front of the player, the Unity-based Android game does a decent job of giving the clever player enough clues to get the hang of it quickly, but demands a fair amount of time to master. While there is certainly an art to finding this delicate balance, Lamp Eyes does little to reward the player other than a high score. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but personally I would have liked more motivation to get further into the game, maybe with unlocks or even one new mode.
The Chaser is, naturally, chasing you. An animation similar to the player’s chases the player through the landscape, forcing the player to think on their feet while simultaneously keeping up momentum in order to avoid being caught by the Chaser. Everything works well, but the nature of the game is tailored to killing 30 seconds at a time, making it ideal perhaps for an impatient child in a grocery store rather than someone looking for a deep and full experience.
Again, bite-sized gaming is certainly nothing at which to sneeze, and Lamp Eyes certainly fulfills the requirements for people who enjoy this type of game. The animations are solid, though not particularly impressive, but the thundering tribal-esque music is a wonderful addition to help keep players excited. And the graphics don’t need to be impressive to be eye-catching – the neon blues and oranges in a black background makes the otherwise dull artwork pop naturally.
The lamp eye mechanic works well, and is an interesting twist for players who can’t get enough of the “run until you can’t run anymore” games. Ultimately, it’s an amusing time-killer with a twist on a classic formula and is a first-rate first attempt from Lamp Interactive’s high school developers. However, somebody looking for a more satisfying or rewarding experience can find similar titles on the Google Play Store for the same cost (none). If you’re a huge endless running fan, or are simply curious to see what a group of high schoolers can come up with in their free time, this is certainly worth a download.
Fun if very simplistic premise with little to no reward; an amusing way to pass a few minutes with an interesting (if sometimes infuriating) take on the endless run formula; somewhat limited appeal and very little content, but what is done is executed with few hitches.