Recess Riot (universal) by Deceased Pixel is the newest arcade title from the developers of Super Mega Worm, a series of popular games on the platform. With the same retro style and simple action of its predecessor, Recess Riot will feel very familiar to fans of the Worm games, even though it is an animal-free game taking place on a non-apocolyptic playground.
Any arcade game worth its salt on iOS manages to do three things well: draw players in with an interesting style, get them hooked with addictive gameplay, and keep them coming back for more with more modes, challenges, and customization options. Recess Riot is a perfect execution of these, with two modes built around very familiar playground games: jump rope and dodgeball.
In both of them, players control a boy who can not only jump rope, but deflect objects with a variety of karate moves. Players earn points and coins by continuously jumping rope, while avoiding obstacles like shooting stars and skateboards, adding up score multipliers by kicking and headbutting various sports balls off the screen. The dodgeball mode is essentially the same, but with more balls and no jump rope to worry about.
It may sound like a lot to handle in such a small playing area, but success in the game is about rhythm. A d-pad on the left controls movements left and right, with A and B buttons for jumping and performing various attack moves on the different on-screen objects. It’s really quite easy to grasp, and I found myself pulling off moves like splits and uppercut punches early on.
I do wish there were some more activites included in the release version: a ‘Coming Soon’ text box sits next to the two available games, as hope for the future. There are some really cool customization options available for players, to provide some replay value – most notably the different visual effects that can be purchased, which can affect everything from on-screen scan lines to color schemes and graphical design.
Once again, Deceased Pixel has taken the simplest of frameworks for a video game, and created an addictive retro-flavored title for all ages to enjoy. Whether on an iPhone on the playground, or an iPad in the office, Recess Riot is a great pick-up-and-play arcade game perfect for short bursts of jump roping action.