Decades ago, when smartphones became viable video game devices, I very a lot of mobile games guy. I spent every second of my precious time on the road playing games like Doodle Jump, Angry Birds or Tiny Wings.
Then at some point I just… stopped playing video games on my phone. I have never been into any of the Clash of Clans style games or any exploitation fee to win online experience. Slowly but surely, my phone became like a washing machine or a refrigerator, a technological element that solves a handful of extremely banal problems and nothing more. No entertainment.
But then I started to play pointpee.
Poinby is the latest game by Ojiro Fumoto, better known as the man who made Downwellgreat tactile retro shooter about a man who jumps way down well, blowing up a lot of things in the process.
But in Poinpy you don’t descend. Poinpy is in many ways a video game in which up.
At a basic level, Poinpy is a video game about picking fruit to feed a menacing looking monster intent on killing you. But mechanically, this is something like a super hits, generously borrowing the viral mobile games of yesteryear. Just like in Doodle Jump, in Poinpy you only move up using slingshot arcs, just like in Angry Birds. Players gradually earn upgrades, making you stronger, like, say, in Jetpack Joyride. And you’ll find yourself using those upgrades to reach new levels like you could… in every video game ever made.
For people like me who abandoned mobile gaming after their first golden age, Poinpy is the perfect starting point. Familiar but new, it feels like something comfortable but just enough to keep you on your toes.
Because Pointpe is not simply about the climb, it’s all about collecting the right type of fruit to feed the rampaging monster while the timer ticks ominously in the background. If you don’t collect the right type of fruit fast enough, you will lose and have to start all over again. The time limit makes the player feel claustrophobic and I can’t get enough of it.
What’s more, Poinpy is replete with curlicues that allow the best players to display breathtaking moments of skill. You are given a limited number of jumps to collect the right fruits to feed the rampaging monster, but this limit can be overcome by attacking the smaller monsters patrolling the levels. This gives you the ability to create all sorts of inventive combinations, forcing you to come up with creative solutions on the fly in tricky situations. The more you play, the better you can manipulate the game’s limited set of tools, creating a sense of mastery only found in the most efficiently designed video games.
In short: Pointy rules.
Perhaps the strangest part of Poinpy: it’s a video game from Netflix. It’s not just a game funded from Netflix, it’s a game exclusive for Netflix subscribers. After downloading and opening the app in the App Store, players need to sign in to Netflix in order to play, which is just… incredibly fun. Not really sure about the strategy there.
Could a game like Poinpy inspire people to subscribe to Netflix? I can’t imagine it unless it was the first in a vast libraryvideo games. It doesn’t justify the monthly Netflix fee, but it’s a nice perk for existing Netflix subscribers. I also wish Netflix would launch more games like this in the future and help unique creators like Ojiro Fumoto bring their games to a wider audience.
Either way, if you have a Netflix subscription and are looking for a game that will take you back to the serene days of endless mobile gaming, you can do a lot worse than Poinpy.