The Epic Adventures of Milton follows Milton, a blue critter from a tiny village unimaginatively and inaccurately called Town, who is on a quest to find the Princess of his Heart. To find her, he must travel through six treacherous and exciting worlds.
What We Think
Though not without its charms, Milton leans too heavily on basic accelerometer and touchscreen tricks.
What Dreams May Come
Milton is a determined little biped. He is haunted by dreams of a gorgeous blonde who appears nightly while he slumbers. He decides that the frequency of the dreams must indicate some awaiting reality, and sets out to find (quite literally) the girl of his dreams.
To control Milton, players must rotate the screen left or right. With the ground listing away beneath him, he will start to walk in the player-indicated direction. Tapping the screen will cause Milton to jump, and the height is determined by how long the screen is depressed.
Jumping on enemies will not bring about the tried-and-true Mario dispatch. However, Milton can also shove boulders he encounters by leaning into them. These can either be used as stepping stones. If shoved off a ledge with the right timing, they can also be used to crush enemies from above.
Smaller rocks will be picked up by Milton as he runs past them. A tap on the screen while running with a rock will cause Milton to throw it in the direction of his momentum. Done properly, this can clear enemies from Milton’s path.
Avoid/trounce all enemies and reach the level gate to proceed to the next stage. Each conquered area brings Milton one step closer to girl that stalks his subconscious.
This game falls into the same trap that claims so many titles that employ accelerometer-based controls: the control scheme ends up being just too damned sensitive. Holding the screen perfectly still is tricky, especially when even the slightest shift in position can send Milton screaming into a crushing abyss.
Limiting Milton to one move per tap is also a questionable design choice. Should he have a rock in tow, the screen-tap jump mechanic is switched out for the rock-throw mechanic. Milton will not be able to jump until he has dispensed with his ammo. Being able to pull off a jump-throw maneuver would open up a lot more possibilities, game play wise, and generally would make for a less awkward experience. As it is, rocks will only weigh Milton down.
The graphics appear to be hand-drawn, but not in that King-of-Fighters XII sort of way. The backdrops, though more detailed than the foreground effects, are unchanging between stages, and only manage to underline the lackadaisical sprites and platforms. Level designs are fairly basic, sometimes containing shortcuts that are far too obvious to be rewarding. At least there are some charming story interludes that add a good dose of humor between levels.
Not the most masterful use of controls in an iOS game, but for the price, it can keep platform gamers happy for a spell.
The Epic Adventure of Milton is available at the App Store for USD $0.99