It turns out all the clever people were wrong. What first emerged from primordial soup were Egz, jolly bipedal blobs that like nothing more than leaping about.
Unfortunately for the Egz, they were swiftly followed by an endless horde of fun-hating meanies intent on smashing any nearby Egz to pieces.
Fortunately, the Egz have you on their side. By dragging your finger and letting go, Angry Birds-style, you catapult one of these rotund heroes about, helping it dart from ledge to ledge. The aim, ostensibly, is to reach a pool of goop at each level’s end. But mostly, it’s about not dying — and dying is very easy when you’ve a fragile shell.
Egz’ fast pace, bright colours and vaguely demented soundtrack give it a console-style urgency, but you also have to think about every jump you make. Land badly and your Egz cracks. Do that too many times and it’s not so much 'the yolk’s on you’ as ‘the yolk’s all over the floor and OH NO MY EGZ IS DEAD’.
This is because, unlike Sonic, Mario and almost every other videogame hero, Egz don't regenerate after a horrible death — they just rot in a tomb.
Do well at levels and you can use accumulated XP to give your Egz extra health, resistance and jumping powers (often by the power of hats), boosting their hopes of long-term survival. But a few reckless leaps can be all it needs to smash one to bits. At that point, you must hatch another (and build it up again), or gather 15 XP to bring a dead Egz back to life.
In theory, this is a really interesting and clever piece of game design. It adds a layer of strategy and forces players to think, rather than merrily fling Egz about without a care in the world. You also get a strong sense of achievement on reaching the goal with a perfectly intact Egz.
However, this game can be a bit too hostile in how it treats the player. Run out of time on a stage and your Egz instantly dies, whereas a replay button would be more appropriate; additionally, you’re further punished by losing three XP. You can at least quickly earn XP (and thereby revive your Egz) by playing previously completed levels with a new hatchling or messing around with three mini-games (a skipping rope; a mini rhythm-action outing; and a Fruit Ninja rip-off), but even so: HRNG.
Egz is otherwise a superb game. The level design is excellent and imaginative, regularly throwing new ideas into the mix. It also looks and sounds fantastic, and even the boss battles are fun. Only the XP issue and the resultant enforced grinding robs the game of our highest rating.