This Could Hurt is an addictive isometric puzzle game, similar to many “autorunner” games such as the run-away (Ha, ha) hit Canabalt. Featuring literally dozens of stages and a really cool adventure / obstacle course aesthetic, the folks at Chillingo, who did the adorable Cut the Rope, have turned in a quality product that happily slides into its casual gaming pants snuggly and comfortably without even needing a belt.
The controls are perfect for kids, elderly, and even gamers with possible disabilities and issues with hand eye coordination, as it’s controlled by simply touching or not touching the screen. If you touch the screen your character stops, if you don’t touch it, he continues walking. These timed button presses become something of an art as the game goes on, and there is an almost unhealthy amount of satisfaction garnered from making it past a difficult obstacle (or obstacles) without taking damage. The world map is set up in a grid like fashion, but there is some leeway in terms of step-over if you end up stopping your character a hair closer to a dangerous situation then you initially wanted. Power-ups are also available and are acquired by performing well enough to open up secret paths, or sometimes just appear at the end of stages, and include things like slowing down time, a shield that prevents you from taking damage, and other standard fare.
This Could Hurt is currently .99 cents in the app store, and is worth all 99 pennies. This is a quality experience in a variety of ways, most of which is simply the fun factor. While the graphics and platform are modern, the game feels almost retro in it’s gameplay and the way it is enjoyed. Playing this game, dying, swearing out loud, then saying to yourself “Gah I’ll try it one more time” is the kind of experience the great classics of gaming gave us way back in the 1980′s. Is this game Super Mario Bros.? No, of course not, but it shares that same sense of adventure, excitement, and difficulty escalation. Much like Mario there’s a loose story that really only serves as window dressing to the gameplay, and that’s the way it should be. After all, when you spend the better part of 45 minutes dodging fire, spikes, shifting platforms, giant hammers, rolling boulders, and looking over your shoulder to make sure the boss doesn’t walk in, for some reason nothing else seems as important as making it to the next level.