Whatever the developers of Twisted are on, I want some. It is without a doubt, the most warped and unusual game I have ever played. I won’t even bother trying to explain the story behind it, because I just didn’t get it. The point of Twisted however, is not the story, but the fact that the cartridge has a gyroscope and a rumble pack built into it. Incidentally, gyroscopes are what make sure missiles and space craft don’t flip upside down during launch and blow you up. They have some other uses too, and this appears to be one of them.
The directional pad does nothing in this game. All of the menus and games themselves are controlled by physically turning the Gameboy around, and occasionally pressing the A button. This feels surprisingly natural, and takes no time at all to become adept at, although looks very strange if you see other people doing it. Twisted contains over 200 separate games, all of which last for approximately 3 seconds. That’s kind of short for a level I hear you say, but each level is presented in quick-fire succession, like a mad attention deprived child with a box of rubber bands, and the games, as the name implies, are seriously weird.
You start with one basic level unlocked, which consists of 5 simple games (and I use the term ‘game’ in the loosest possible way - they consist of mental things like turning a face upside down so that the hat falls off, cool things like flying a plane through a crevase and clever things like balancing an umbrella, or making an inch-worm inch across the screen.), followed by a boss stage. Once you’ve completed that, you unlock the next level, and so on until you get near the end, where they get faster and faster and you have to get through 30 odd games to unlock the next level. You also get to unlock souvenirs at different points, which you can play with to your hearts content.
It feels like there were many different designers creating these games, as they range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Most of them will raise a smile the first time you try them out, and some of them will make you laugh out loud. Graphics range in quality from a kid’s drawing to almost modern 3d game style, depending on what you have to do. The sound is a bit more than you’d expect from a Gameboy Advance, but not outstanding. My only problem was that the gyroscope ocassionally lost its calibration, requiring the machine to be switched off and restarted - no biggie, as you can go straight back to where you were. My only complaint is that some of the games were so cool that I wanted to keep playing them, but they stopped after the timer ran out.
Word from Nintendo is that this is the first in a range of gyroscopically controlled games. I look forward to seeing them. You’ve got to try this one... it’s highly original, and seriously (my apologies for resorting to this) twisted.