Yesterday I showed Ding Dong XL, the latest in the line of Nickervision’s one-button game series and I mentioned Diamo XL was the best example of it. It actually breaks the series mould in that it uses the four directional buttons but it still revolves around the gameplay element of dodging to score points.
The key difference with Diamo XL is that you aren’t faced with just two choices of doing something or not – here there’s strategy involved. Diamo XL separates its playing area of a diamond into four right-angle triangles. You move your circle up and down the dividing lines. Once you press the button to move to the edge of that line, you can’t go back – you are committed. You need to get around the perimeter of each triangle to score points for that one and then once all four are complete you get a bonus 10 points and they all reset. Enemies fly in from one side of the screen to the other just like the other games in the series but here they can also break lines apart, chase you around the perimeter edges erasing your lines, sit in the central block and get in your way or just fly at you. Things get very tricky, very quickly.
It’s these additional elements that elevate Diamo XL into its own class above the other Nickervision games in the series. Not only do you scream at yourself when you make a bad move, but the enemies keep the challenge fresh by altering your strategy – so you need to adapt to stay alive. This isn’t present in any other games in the series. Sadly, Diamo XL does have one downside and that’s sometimes I found it wouldn’t register my control inputs and I didn’t understand why. When that causes a death, it makes you rage. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen so be warned!
Diamo XL is a top tier game for quick-fire strategy, reactionary gameplay and arcade fun. A great lesson is small scale game design.
Great example of minimalist design and maximum gameplay.
Rising difficulty curve means this is one of the best 3 minute arcade games out there.
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