The Nardio Review
Is Power Hover worth your time?
What should I play Power Hover on?
To really appreciate the detail and sounds in Power Hover I recommend playing on an iPad with the volume maxed out.
What Did We Think Without Spoiling It?
Power Hover is an amazing game that will leave you breathless until the end.
Power Hover is a mindblowingly beautiful iOS game that had me curious with its gameplay trailer. Once I installed it, it won me over. Power Hover is a mix between several things: a 3D, forward facing, third person, endless runner; an on the rails moving, fast paced platformer; and a snowboarding game. I know that sounds like a weird mix, but for the most part it works. It isn’t a perfect game, but it is such a unique and enthralling experience I cannot help but enthusiastically recommend Power Hover.
How it Plays and Why it Works:
Power Hover is an absolutely beautiful mix up between a 3D third person endless runner and an on the rails platformer. It takes some time to get used to the controls. At first they kind of suck. If you stick with it you’ll soon be able to manage all those once seemingly impossible twists and turns. To be perfectly honest though the controls never feel perfect. They’re just a little too loose. But you’ll get them for the most part to the point that replaying those earlier levels will feel like you progressed a lot.
Power Hover is designed so that you have to repeat the levels until you unlock everything. One you get used to the controls the gameplay is enthralling. The camera is out of your control like in most games, but here it moves on its own. It’s distracting and invigorating at the same time. You find yourself breathlessly playing along as you watch yourself doing movie like action shots across the map. Yeah, playing Power Hover is just that damn epic. It feels like the game was a brain child of Pixar and Michael Bay – just style, action and plenty of wow moments. Right when you think you’ve settled in, the camera moves around and you find yourself gripping your iPad tighter and trying to stay on for the ride while not dying.
Most of Power Hover’s levels are all about memorization and quick reflexes. At first you will have to deal with some cheap deaths when things come out of “nowhere” but after a few tries you will notice that it’s doable. You progress and learn. Besides the “Boss” levels most of the game comes down to checkpoints and memorization. This makes replaying the levels to get all the voltage that much more bearable. I have to say I’ve found myself replaying some the levels again not just to get all the stars, but to experience them again.
Then comes the super cool interactive and immersive story scenes. They feel more like an art installation than just a game’s plot progressing mechanic. I do wish there were more of the story scenes. Don’t get me wrong, what is in game is great, but I’d love more of them. They are just so smart and innovative. The story scenes push the Power Hover experience even higher.
Now let’s talk about the super tight sound track and effects. Seriously, the sound design on here is so on point I found myself starting levels of the game just to listen to the tunes while I did other things around the apartment today. Yes it’s that damn good.
I haven’t unlocked everything. I still need to try the additional characters, but overall I have almost everything else unlocked. I’m going to try and knock the rest out as soon as possible, but there are some problems with Power Hover that are stopping me from being able to 100% the game right now. More below:
Power Hover is too short. Right when you really feel like you got the mechanics down the game just ends. The ending is ok, but it feels like it came too soon and there was a lot more story to tell. I don’t mean that in the “this game is so awesome I didn’t want it to end” way, I mean it in the too darn soon way, especially given the price of the game. It felt like what is (hopefully) coming soon was just supposed to be chapter 2. It says to be continued but there are so many abandoned apps I’ve lost hope. I would have appreciated a few more levels of padding. The developers created some amazing environments that they then abandoned. I get that this was a journey, but for heaven’s sake a few more water and power line levels would have made the game that much better. Yes Power Hover is amazingly immersive and at times mind blowing experience, but at this price point I feel like there needs to be more content to go along with this style. What happened to the thief? Seriously, we chase him and chase him and then he is gone.
Power Hover has been updated a few times and now feels fleshed out and complete. The developers really came through here and supported their work.
The misnomer of the “Boss” areas are disappointing after you realize there are no bosses. The boss areas are meant to be the endless mode of the game, but cheap mechanics make them anything but. The final boss area is insanely beautiful, but all too often I found myself dying to unavoidable hazards that only have one small exit. By themselves they aren’t that bad, but after a turn where you go in one direction you immediately come upon one of these hazard going in the opposite direction or faster than you were previously going it ends up feeling cheap and broken. It’s even worse when it happens right after you get out of one tricky area only to see the next exit pass you by.
It sucks because I think the “Boss” areas were supposed to be the lasting part of this game. Instead, we get a beautifully crafted, randomly designed areas, that screams potential while muffled by bad hazard placements. What makes these “Boss” areas suck even more are stars gated behind these rage quit inducing stages. Right now I need them to unlock some additional characters. Try as I might, I just cannot seem to make much headway and it’s maddening. To have content gated away because of bad level design is infuriating. I would have rather have had several more levels than these gated levels. Right now I am eighth on the final “Boss” area’s leader board. I haven’t even hit 2 stars! That’s just broken. To be quite honest I don’t see myself three star-ing the boss areas. They are just too random, cheap and hard. In a game all about lovingly planned out level design and player experiences, everything about these “Boss” areas are a huge mistake. In the second “Boss” area you can’t even count on the hazards to behave the same. The yellow U barrier can randomly rotate in circles. This happened after several playthroughs, which led to even more cheap deaths. Replaying these sections over and over again hoping the AI won’t be as sadistically cheap has killed my enthusiasm for 3 staring and replaying these areas.
I wish there were some more endless areas of the game that were more forgiving. I’d love to be able to come back to Power Hover for a relaxing play through in some of these beautifully designed levels. If there were only some more choices to be had besides the three punishing “Boss” areas the game wouldn’t feel so unfinished and short.
Also I’d love an option to make the controls a tad bit tighter.
The new final areas once again bring back that OMFG that was so cheap feeling and then adds 10. Its frustrating. Thankfully the overall experience is so darned good that it’s worth it. It’s also on Steam now!
ower Hover is short. Woefully so. You will find yourself burning through it in under 3 hours depending on your luck and skill. For a $3.99 game that sounds and sort of feels a little too short. But in those three hours you will find yourself totally enthralled and impressed. It’s sort of like a movie experience that you just so happened to be in control of. Sure there are some cheap moments, especially with the “Boss” areas, but those still don’t take away from the rest of this magnificent experience enough for me to tell anyone to miss this game. $3.99 for three hours of epic innovative and enthralling experiences is very, very well worth it. I wholeheartedly recommend this game. Sure it has issues, but Power Hover is one of the best experiences I’ve had on my iPad. Power Hover could have just as well been billed as a creative art piece with gameplay influences. Power Hover deserves to be on your iOS devices. I hope the developers at Oddroc listen to the problems I have with the game, but also appreciate the praise. They crafted an amazing experience with Power Hover and I cannot wait to play more of it. Let’s just hope the developers delivers on their “To be continued” promise and add the remaining content this game is so desperately missing.
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Read our other App Reviews
- 80 MB
- Universal app
- iOS 7.0 or later
- Made in Unity