Deflex, like Llamasoft/Jeff Minter’s other works of digital insanity, is confounded by bleary visuals and wrangled voice clips, supported by a dreamily dynamic piano soundtrack. I don’t know how he codes a game like this – it’s really something you need to see to understand. It’s arthouse interactivity for the iOS folks. Many will cringe, others will hate, but for those patient enough to tap bottom-left and bottom-right indiscriminately, satisfaction can be had.
The game adheres to a simple concept: the player summons two kinds of “deflectors” via a two-tap conceptntrol scheme, both of which bounce a mysteriously pulsating orb around the screen. Your goal is to collect an entire map’s themed on-screen targets (think oxen, “frightened” bananas, and “parked” camels). A scoring system prods the player on, with the rapid accumulation of targets generating multiplier points. With the visual treatment it receives, Deflex plays like a deranged vision of pinball-meets-Pacman.
The joys of the game are primarily derived from the musical score — light piano touches crescendo or diminuendo based on your retrieval of in-game targets. Think Portal 2 puzzles but with much more orchestral finesse. Since the orb you’re pushing around the board diminishes as the session proceeds and as you continually deflect it, the musical cues begin to fade, drifting into the astrological-challenged cosmos.
The game’s blaring diffusions of light, indecisive font placements, and directionless gameplay discriminate against those with any form of epilepsy or gameing sanity. But for those willing to submit to the visual style and enjoy pop arcade gameplay mechanics, the $2.00 is worth it.