Today is a special day for me and my family. Exactly three years ago, my first son, Philip, was born. I know all parents would say the same about their child, but he is truly a blessing for us.
As someone who works in IT, I have always tried to introduce Philip to technology. He had his first encounter with the iPad 16 months ago, and has been playing with many games ever since. However, one of them has risen to the top as his favorite.
To celebrate his birthday today, I decided to write about his favorite game, Beyond Ynth HD. He loves this game so much that he has played it for more than 40 hours during the past year. If you are not familiar with this game, I would recommend you to watch the following gameplay video.
Beyond Ynth HD
Beyond Ynth HD is an iPad game launched back in September 2010. It's a 2D platformer game that has won the 7th International Mobile Gaming Awards for excellence in gameplay. I love 2D platformer games so much that the first time I saw its gameplay video, I knew I had to get the game.
The main character of this game is Kribl, a little bug who is on a big journey to bring light back to the Kingdom of Kriblonia. During his journey, he will travel through four different types of terrains, i.e. the forest, the volcano, the snow region, and the desert. Each terrain has its own challenges where you will find yourself pushing big boxes to move from the entrance to the exit and overcome various obstacles, while trying to collect two diamonds that are available in each level.
Each level is designed as a puzzle that you have to solve to get from the entrance to the exit. There are six controls that you can use, i.e. move left and right, jump left and right, rewind, and zoom out. If you're playing on the iPad, you would hold the iPad in landscape mode and use your thumbs to move and jump in the direction you want. The rewind button is there to help you if you made a mistake that could cause you to end the game, such as being squashed by a solid object, drowned in a lava pool, frozen in the snow, or scorched by the desert sun. Because the game is quite complex, sometimes you need to use the zoom out button to see what lies ahead and plan your movements.
Beyond Ynth HD has all the right ingredients to become an awesome game, i.e. simple premise (get from entrance to exit), simple movements (move and jump), and collectibles (the diamonds). The game is also quite friendly for new players with the existence of rewind button and YouTube videos showing the solution for each level. And if you love adventure platformers, you would love the world map that the game has.
What I like about this game
If you have been reading my games reviews on this site, you would probably know that I love puzzles. I haven't mentioned this publicly yet, but I also love platformer games. I spent many hours of my childhood playing Super Mario Bros, and I see many similarities between it and Beyond Ynth HD. That's why I immediately fell in love with Beyond Ynth HD only by watching the gameplay video.
Each time I finish a level in Beyond Ynth HD, I always come to a great feeling of accomplishment. Many levels have a very complex design that you would need replay it over and over just to gain all the diamonds. Some levels even force you to move back and forth the level while pushing blocks from the end and back to the beginning just to collect the diamonds.
Finally, I also like the background music and sound effects. They help make the overall gaming experience an enjoyable one, for both the players and the parents who keep hearing the game being played again and again.
What I observed from Philip playing the game
Because I like Beyond Ynth HD so much, it was one of the first games I installed on the iPad. When I gave the iPad to Philip 16 months ago, I didn't expect him to play or like the game. To my surprise, he loved it. He played it over and over throughout the past 16 months and became great at it.
With his tiny hands, he was able to put the iPad on his lap while he played with both his thumbs. When he was younger, he had problems to make a turning jump - a jump where you had to quickly turn to the opposite direction while you're on the air. A player needs to master this jump in order to pass through many of the levels. This move requires the player to immediately push the opposite jump button while the character is on the air. But when Philip turned two years old, he was already able to make this jump perfectly. It's an awesome thing to watch him play the levels from end to end.
I love how Philip has grown up to become a problem solver through this game. Many levels in Beyond Ynth HD require you to have some problem solving skills to finish the level. While he may not be interested enough to collect all the diamonds, being able to unlock and finish almost all of the levels in the game is still something a geek dad could be proud of.
Here is a video that I made back in January 2012 when Philip was 2 years and 4 months old. He was playing Beyond Ynth XMas HD, another version of the franchise that was designed with a Christmas theme, but too bad it is no longer available for the iPad today.
Beyond Ynth HD is a great game for everyone who loves 2D platformer games like Super Mario Bros. It has a unique gameplay involving a lovely character with simple premise and movements that even your juniors can learn in a brief moment. The fact that Philip has fully mastered this game before he is 3-years old shows that you can try introducing this game to your younger toddlers and that Philip is ready for the big console games. I can't wait to play my Wii console this Christmas with him.