From the Garage: Machiavelli’s Ascent

Welcome to From the Garage, TGR’s weekly feature spotlighting Xbox Live Community Games and independent development. Given the enormous amount of content that is hitting the marketplace, we’ll keep you clear of the garbage and point you in the direction of treasure. This week, we feature Machiavelli’s Ascent.

Machiavelli’s Ascent

Machiavelli’s Ascent, upon first inspection, appears to be a complete Flow rip-off. It shares a similar art style and attempts to mimic the motion control setup. But, if you dig deeper, Machiavelli’s Ascent is actually its own game. Problem is, it isn’t the greatest one.

In the same vein as most iPhone applications, Machiavelli’s Ascent is a fine concept but is not necessarily something you’ll play for much more than five minutes. In the game you’ll play as a jellyfish, jumping off little “nutrients” and trying to climb as high you can go. As you climb and collect nutrients, elusive starfish, and jumpers, you’ll build a high score. Once you start to descend, the “round” is over and you start again. Sadly, that’s about the extent of what Machiavelli’s Ascent offers. It can theoretically last forever, but your normal play time will last anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes.

The control setup is definitely a unique selling point for the game. As you ascend the level, you guide your jellyfish not by the analog sticks, but by the left and right trigger. To glide left, hit the left trigger, to glide right, hit the right trigger. The controls work fine and are definitely, at the very least, a novel concept.

The problem with Machiavelli’s Ascent is that is all it really aspires to be — a concept. I definitely was interested in how the game would pan out and enjoyed myself while I played, so a download of the demo is perfectly justified. Just know that everything there is to see in Machiavelli’s Ascent is included in that demo.

Verdict: Try It

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