When I encountered Kex, I was intrigued by the YouTube video of a character leaping, shooting, and dodging his way around a single glass tower. In fact, the whole of Kex is much like you might find in a boss battle of a platforming title.

You control a super-hero character who circles a glass tower. Dodge missiles, bombs and other devices while trying to shoot at the windows that are green. All the while the timer counts down. Take a hit and you lose time, but if you hit a green window you gain time. The game is over when the timer reaches zero.

While not as refined as some of the more expensive games out there, Kex makes a good impression. The game design is simple yet functional, and the character animation is smooth. Whether running, leaping or taking a hit, the character is well-designed and the animation looks great.

For me, the most frustrating aspect of Kex is the controls. In a fast-paced game like this controls need to be fluid and intuitive. The intuitive part is mostly there, but they are not fluid as fluid as I would have liked. For instance, sliding your finger left and right to run is simple and transitioning is quick, but if you want to jump you cannot simply slide your finger upward. You must first lift your finger before sliding it up to jump. The double tap for shooting was often frustrating for me. I just couldn’t jump then quickly tap twice in the same spot and actually hit what I was aiming for. With some practice I am improving, but it is still imperfect at best.

With the multi-touch capability of the iPhone, it would be nice to see that integrated into controls. It would be simpler to simply use a second finger simultaneously to jump or double-tap rather than to have to use only one finger at a time.

With the lack of backstory on Kex, I decided to fill in some of the gaps myself. Find out more about this mysterious warrior and his enemy  in the gallery captions below (not endorsed by Flying Sickle Studios).

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