Gamious’ physics/platformer iO garnered a lot of positive attention when it hit Steam last winter. When you try it for yourself, it quickly becomes obvious why the praise is justified. The game involves fiddling with mass as you make a ball swoop, slide, and glide around the screen, and it’s simply a joy to play.
Though iO is available on OUYA, it hadn’t previously reached a widespread Android audience. That’s now changed with the NVIDIA SHIELD version of the game, which is now available on all three generations of NVIDIA SHIELD: Android TV, tablet and portable.
In iO, players direct a ball down a series of curves and ramps in hopes of popping it into the portal marking the end of each level. The game’s unique touch is the ball’s ability to grow and shrink, thereby changing its weight, and movements. iO’s dips and loops feel strangely serpentine, and it’s no wonder: It was developed according to Global Space Jam 2012’s theme, which was the symbol of Ouroboros—the tail-eating snake.
“The [Gamious] team applied this theme by inventing a dynamic where the snake could ‘eat’ to become bigger or smaller,” says Roy van Bijsterveldt, producer at Gamious. “When we started collaborating with the creators after the GGJ, we transformed the snake into a ball and the start of iO was there.”
Even just watching someone else play iO fills you with a kind of ease, which is what Gamious intended. “iO is one of those games where your hands start to itch when you’re watching someone else play—and fail,” admits van Bijsterveldt.
He also points out iO’s layered gameplay compels you to keep playing in order to achieve that coveted perfect performance. “First you want to solve the ‘puzzle’ by figuring out how to reach the exit, and then you want to try to improve your time and grab that gold medal.”
But with iO already available on Steam, iOS, and OUYA, should puzzle fans pass up the SHIELD iteration of the game? Not at all. No mere port, iO for SHIELD contains upgraded graphics and new content.
“NVIDIA powered devices get to run a visually enhanced version of the game that makes the game look a lot more sophisticated and sharp in comparison to the current build,” says van Bijsterveldt. “With star particles in the background and an awesome spotlight/shader effect, the abstract feel of the game is even stronger.
“We believe that, while the gameplay is still as solid as the other versions, players will be surprised by iO’s new look and feel.”
If shiny new graphics aren’t enough of a motivator to pick up the SHIELD version of iO, consider another new addition: 75 new Irresistiball levels practically guaranteed to make you rethink your self-proclaimed title as an iO master.
“[These] highly challenging levels that introduce new mechanics and ways of playing the game that will even surprise hardcore players,” says van Bijsterveldt. “We’re looking forward seeing the response to the new content from players out there.”
Whether you’re an established iO fan or a newcomer to this puzzle wonder, you now have your chance to grow, shrink, and fly on the NVIDIA SHIELD.