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Available from

Dejobaan Games

 

Platform

PC

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Dejobaan Games, LLC

 

Developer

Dejobaan Games, LLC

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

September 2, 2009

 

 

‑ Very good level of challenge for gamers, in whatever gameplay investment they want to make; from a few minutes to an hour at a time

 

 

‑ Most cube levels need constant replaying to score high enough points to get the teeth necessary to open up availability to even more cubes

‑ Too many levels are a bit repetitive in their appearance

 

 

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AaaaaAAaaaAAAaa-AAAAaAAAAA!!! ‑ A Reckless Disregard for Gravity

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

reckless disregard for gravity          reckless disregard for gravity

 

Never being a daredevil at heart, I couldn’t even imagine base-jumping off an imposingly huge “big city” building such as the Empire State Building in NYC or Sears Tower in Chi-town. But if I ever did get the courage to throw reckless disregard for my well-being to the fates, that as I descended faster and unbelievably faster toward a bone-crushing, head-splattering meeting with asphalt before pulling the ripcord on a parachute I would probably be heard making a bloodcurdling noise something along the line of: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!

 

Coincidentally (or maybe not), that’s part of the name of the quirky indie base-jumping PC game with the ludicrously large name A Reckless Disregard for Gravity (henceforth in this review to be shortened to Aaaaa!) ‑ that kind of, sort of brings

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the frightening exhilaration and terror of leaping off a supremely tall building and plummeting downward at a ridiculous speed.

 

The faster you fall off these skyscrapers floating above Boston, the more quickly gamers can score points before deploying their parachute fins and finally landing into the red-circle target. On the way down, there is a

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few ways to rack up enough points to reach specific star levels (and get more “teeth” that are used to buy access to more levels), including scoring plates. Plates with 250, 500, 750 and 1 Grand all are placed throughout levels, and gamers must smash through them to get the points. Many times, they are lined up one right below the other, so if a gamer is in the proper place plummeting downward, plenty of points will be garnered. Of course, if a gamer is not aligned in plate-smashing position, then there’s little chance of getting enough points for the five-star level point totals that give gamers more teeth to open more cubes (levels) on the large master collection of cubes at the main menu.

 

Hugs and Kisses also score points. “Hugging” or “kissing” the walls of the buildings around you close enough scores a lot of points. Other scoring techniques are stunts, graffiti plants, engaging spectators and successfully landing all that gamers will need to learn how to do proficiently if they want to get those five-star scores.

 

Heck, just learning how to get enough points to get a 1-star score is difficult enough. Gamers will find themselves playing levels over and over to learn each of the idiosyncrasies of that particular level, as well as the placement of prime scoring opportunities, especially the scoring plates. It can get frustrating having to continually replay the levels to get enough points to open up even more cubes opened and available to play, though.

 

reckless disregard for gravity          reckless disregard for gravity

 

Especially when gamers will need to stare at the uniquely designed but rather eye-hurting visuals. Simplistic building designs are surrounded by neon-like lighting effects circling the level, which is filled with an overall fuzziness that looks like TV static right out of the Poltergeist movie. This was obviously done purposely to create a one-of-a-kind visual style, and it is definitely one-of-a-kind – but not always in a bad way, because it fits the overall casual and unique aspect of the gameplay.

 

Deflating some of that frustration gamers will encounter trying to score points is the overall humor of Aaaaa! Messages that gamers will read during successful gameplay (playing a level and landing) are really funny, with smart-ass and tongue-in-cheek New Age-sounding phrasings such as “You aren’t dead! That’s grand!” or “Today you are beloved!” Of course, the other extreme is what hilarious message gamers get if they spectacularly fail and splatter themselves by landing too hard and heavy: “You are a sack of broken calcium.” Or “You fractured all two of your legs.”

 

Even eclectically funnier are the names of the levels, such as “Stairway to Helllll with five L’s”, Lies, Damn Lies, and Helices,” “I’ll Tell You Where to Shove Your Two Year Phone Contract” and “Groin to the Eff to the Ay See Eee, Yo.”

 

At a minimal price (right now, Aaaaa! is just $15US), dozens of levels will entertain with its humor and provide brain-taxing exercises on the art of scoring points while terrifyingly dropping like a rock base jumping from scary-tall buildings.

 

Never taking itself completely seriously despite the seriously challenging gameplay at times, Aaaaa! is a great indie game that goes outside the mainstream gaming genre, possessing a “now for something completely different” attitude with matching Monty Python-esque humor.

 

‑ Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(December 18, 2009)

 

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