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Monday 21 April 2014

Naradja: Garuda Nest Rescue Review - Reminds Me of Flappy Bird in a Good Way!

Naradja: Garuda Nest Resque by Mechanimotion Entertainment is of course not a Flappy Bird clone, which is obvious from the screenshots alone. It is something like a mix of good old Paperboy and Temple Run. So why does it reminds me of it? Because it's hard, it's fun and and the fun comes from the difficulty.

Garuda is a mythical bird in Hinduism and Buddhism and your task in this game is to feed little Garuda hatchlings after their parents mysteriously dissapeared. You play as Naradja, who is also a main character of an Indonesian novel and animated series.

The game is presented in 3D and you run from left to right. To control the character, you need to sweep up and down and tap two buttons: Throw (seed) and Jump. Sounds easy, but since the game is played in landscape mode as opposed to the portrait mode of similar runner games and everything moves quite fast, it takes some time to get used to it.

The graphics of Naradja are really nice. There are not many animated objects in the game, but the animation is well done, especially the main character. The game plays a variation on Balinese traditional music with modern elements.

The gameplay is simple in theory, but very challenging in practice. You have to throw the seed to the bird nest as soon as you are close enough. But there's a catch. First you must make sure you don't hit any stone blocks or fall into any pits and then you must throw the seed precisely to the birds (which sometimes requires jumping and aiming in full speed).

The biggest difference from other endless runners is probaly the scoring system. It is even more difficult to score in this game than it was in Flappy Bird. Forget millions of coins. For each hit you get only one point. And for each miss you lose one point! Negative final scores are more common than you think :) The best I could do after few hours of playing was 3! And most of the time I ended up frustrated only to find myself trying again five minutes later.

This is my typical position in the game. Dazed.


Naradja: Garuda Nest Rescue is a nice little addition to the endless runner genre. It looks good and it is challenging in a good way. The game is free, supported by ads, but they are displayed only on static pages and don't interfere with the gameplay in any way.

Let's see if you can do better than me. Share your score in the comments ;)

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Martin Varga is a Czech software developer who likes pygmy owls (hence Kulíš), running, ramen, travelling and living in foreign countries. He is also known as smartus or sm4 on the internet (read as smartass, but there are too many of them). He currently tries to make games in AndEngine like Mr. Dandelion's Adventures and hangs around a lot at the AndEngine forums.