Published on July 8th, 2013 | by James Maxwell0
Space Is Key Review
Space is Key is a hugely popular flash game (one that has had over 30 million plays!) that has just been ported over to android. Has this game managed to hold onto the elements that made it such an addictive flash game, or does it turn out that space isn’t the key after all?
Gameplay & Controls
The concept of Space is Key is pretty much as simple as it gets in a video game. You control a block that is in constant movement, and you just have to tap the screen to jump over the obstacle that lay between you and the opposite side of the screen. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is game is going to a piece of cake though, as you are up for one heck of a challenge.
Luckily the controls work perfectly, which is a must for this kind of game. The setup is just a simple one-touch control scheme, so as you’d expect it works well. I found the controls to be responsive throughout my entire time playing the game.
In Space Is Key you need to time your jumps with absolute perfection if you plan to complete the stage. If you’re off by even a small fraction of a second it’s more than likely that your block is going to be shattered into many small pieces. You’ll get used to this though, as you’re going to be dying a lot in this game. And when I mean a lot I really mean a LOT. The game doesn’t even have a traditional scoring system, but rather it keeps a tally of the number of times you die. Dying as few times as possible is your true goal in Space is Key, and it’s not an easy thing to do. If you’re someone that gets easily frustrated by dying you’re probably not going to be a huge fan of this. It’s a fact of the game, and you’re going to have to get used to it.
Though most of the time you will mostly just be trying to jump over blocks situated on the ground there are occasions where the game throws some twists at you. This includes having your block starting on the opposite side of the screen, unexpected blocks falling from the ceiling, or even having the game flip from landscape to portrait mode. These twists do a great job of keeping the gameplay feeling fresh for the entire duration of the game.
If you’re okay with the fact that you will die a lot you are going to have a blast with Space is Key. Though it can be frustrating at times the game manages to keep you hooked through the addictiveness of it’s gameplay, and you’re going to have a hard time putting this one down.
One of the best aspects of Space Is Key are it’s great colourful minimalistic graphics. Sure it all looks simple, but that’s what the game is going for – simplicity. But even with its simplicity it still looks fantastic. I really like how the colour of the stages change after every couple of levels. The colour choices made really look great, and they give the game its own unique look.
Another fantastic aspect of Space is Key are the clever little messages that are placed in each level by the in-game narrator. These messages sometimes provide you with some well deserved encouragement, while at other times it with throw some more critical comments your way. It’s fun to keep playing just to see what the narrator is going to say next. These comments add a nice touch of charm to a game that wouldn’t normally be seen as charming.
The sound design in Space Is Key is quite well done. Each of the three campaigns has it’s own soundtrack which have all been created by different artists. I thought this was a nice addition, and it kept each campaign feeling different than the other two. Each of the songs has an obvious 8-bit-retro-esque feel to it, which really fits the game great. My only qualm with the soundtrack is that they can become quite grating during long play sessions, but you can always mute it if you want to . I had an especially hard time listening to the song in campaign #1, as it gets to be a bit too much rather quickly. So overall I’d say I’m impressed by the music, but it really isn’t anything that is going to completely blow you away.
Space is Key is a game that has a lot of content, but how long this content lasts you will be determined entirely on the type of gamer you are. There are three separate ‘campaign’s (Space is Key, Space is Key 2, and ‘Hell Mode’) which are spread over 131 levels. This may sound like a lot of content, but with each level taking only a few seconds it really makes the number of levels seem a lot less impressive. How long each campaign lasts you is determined by how many times you die, so how much time you spend is determined by how good or bad you are.
As for the amount of replayability that one will find in Space Is Key depends entirely on the type of player they are. If you’re the kind of gamer that just wants to reach the end of a game and then forget about it, you will have a very short lived experience with Space is Key. If you are the kind of gamer that enjoys a challenge and is content with trying to best their own scores you will get a lot out of Space Is Key. Each of the 3 separate campaigns has their own share of twists and challenges, and it’s fun to see if you’re able to do better on your second play though.
One thing that is a bit disappointing about Space is Key is that there are currently only local leaderboards available. It is possible to post your high (or is it low?) score on Twitter or Facebook, but I feel that integrating online leaderboards into the game would do wonders for extending the game’s replayability.
It’s great to see how such a simple concept and such simple gameplay can translate into such a solid and entertaining title. Space is Key might not captivate you for hours on end, but it’s an experience I don’t suggest missing out on. Space is Key is a complete steal for it’s low asking price of $0.99.
Summary: Space Is Key is a very challenging but highly addictive 'platformer'. The simple concept and simple controls make this a game that is easy for anyone to pick up, but will probably only appeal to those gamers that are fine with the fact that they will die a lot. I love the graphics, the sound design is quite well done, and all around it is just a very fun game that shouldn't be missed out on. The game has three seperate campaigns that are each filled with their own unique twists and challenges, and it adds a good amount of content to the game. My only wish is that this game gets some sort of online leaderboards in a future update.