Just 1 Level is a puzzle game, in which you must help your friendly dragon (named Dennis) save the imprisoned princess. But like any good fairy tale, there’s a twist. Instead of working your way through the usual series of progressively more difficult levels, the entire game takes place in the same level, but the rules are constantly changing. Each of the game’s 60 episodes have unique titles like “Not This Time” or “Hold It”, which serve as your only clue as to how to successfully save the princess. One episode you may need to use touch controls to move and in the next, the accelerometer, or everything might be backwards.
When I read the description of the game I wondered if it would really be entertaining, playing the same level over and over and over again without getting sick of it. I was happy to find that the constantly changing rules successfully kept the game from getting too repetitive. Just 1 Level is essentially a set of 60 mini games, with gameplay that is somewhat reminiscent of something like The Moron Test or The Impossible Test. It’s a simple idea, which by it’s very nature is entertaining. The real fun of Just 1 Level is the thrill of figuring out what you need to do. While this concept is fun, unfortunately it’s a rather short experience, clocking in at only about 1 – 1.5 hours of playtime, with limited replay value. Once you know the “secret” to the levels, there’s not really a lot of incentive to go back and play them again. Dragosaurus should consider integrating OpenFeint for global leaderboards for fastest time per episode and overall. I think this might go a long way towards extending the longevity and replayability of the game.
Just 1 Level‘s sound and graphics are cute and inviting and will appeal to players of all ages. On the other hand, the controls were a bit of a mixed bag. While the episodes using touch controls worked well, the accelerometer-based episodes need some tightening up. I felt like the accelerometer was a bit unresponsive and it was a constant battle getting Dennis to move where I wanted him to go.
Just 1 Level features some very nice, inviting graphics and sound, but the controls still need some fine tuning. With a game like this, which is so repetitive, it’s difficult to find that fine line between having a game that is too short and dragging out a concept. Unfortunately I think Dragosaurus has errored on the side of brevity, leaving me wanting more, but without giving me a compelling reason to replay the existing levels. I’m hoping to see some more levels added to the game or the addition of some global leaderboards to help extend the experience. With other games on the App Store at the 99¢ price offering hours upon hours of entertainment, perhaps my expectations are skewed, but that’s the nature of the beast.