Casual Corner: OLDTV

In hindsight, calling ourselves “Hardcore Gamer” pigeonholed what we could cover. Many sleepless nights go by with our writers tossing and turning because they can’t write about the latest Farmville update. It’s for that reason and that reason only — and because somebody registered the Casual Gamer domain before we had a chance to — that every month we present to you a quick look at a mobile game that deserves your attention regardless of its place on the gaming spectrum.

Do you consider yourself to be good at color and word recognition? If so, you might wanna give OLDTV a go to test yourself. It used to be that referring to something as an old TV would mean that it didn’t have color. Now it means that the TV is just a CRT TV and has a body.

That’s the aesthetic of OLDTV. When you start it up it loads in like an old CRT TV booting on. You get the TV lines and the colors coming into place. The wide rounded nature of the screen is shown through the letters having a curve to them. It’s a good look and feel for something you might not see every day anymore. This works well for the mechanics of OLDTV as it likens nailing the choice you have to make to changing the channel.

What is the choice you have to make? Well, every channel on OLDTV will broadcast either Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Purple or Cyan. When that happens the color of the word must match what’s being displayed. If it matches you press the right side of your screen. If it doesn’t you press the left. Super simple. Pressing the wrong side will result in a game over. In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll have a frequency section that is your countdown timer. If it ends you’ve run out of time and it’s game over, but making the correct choice quickly puts more time on the clock.

That’s the gist of the game in the early levels, but as you progress the game throws other curveballs at you to waste more time. One of the first is the game inverting the screen. Everything will be upside down and it may throw you for a loop for a bit. Later, it will add prompts to the screen saying, “Don’t Switch” or “Inverted Controls.” Don’t switch simply means don’t make a choice and the game will give you a new color and word association. The latter means that the sides of the screen corresponding to your choice have been swapped making left yes and right no.

That’s not where it stops either. As you progress further these will be combined with the inverted screen and the game will even add color to the screen to further throw you off. The background will change color trying to trick you into making the association with it and not the word and the color of the word. These will end your run and leave you frustrated, but that’s also what makes you want to continue on. Get used to the traps and easily run through the stages. There are more obstacles that you’ll run into like the screen losing signal, but you’ll need to experience those to find out what to do.

After every run you’ll accumulate these things called Channel Points or CP for short. These points can be spent to make your life in OLDTV a little easier. These reward you with three skills and the ability to change your starting level. As for the skills you have the choice of Hold to Skip, Double CP and 2nd Chance. Hold to skip allows you to hold down on the screen and you’ll skip the choice that’s being displayed. If you keep holding you keep skipping and it costs 2 CP every time. Double CP allows you to earn double the CP every run and 2nd chance gives you another run after yours has unfortunately ended.

After you earn all the skills you can still use CP to unlock your starting area. The starting areas in OLDTV correspond to geographic regions like Europe, The Americas, Asia and Oceania. For a decent amount of CP, you can unlock these areas and just start there rather than start at the beginning of the game every time. That means you’ll be thrown into whatever challenges that stage presents.

If OLDTV is your speed and you enjoy stressing your mind for a bit you should test it out. You can download it here on iOS. Unfortunately, OLDTV is not available on Android, but you can play it on Steam here.

Looking for even more casual gaming? We have you covered. Peruse the complete collection of Casual Corner here.