Diversion is a versatile game with a lot of time invested into it, even if it doesn’t look that way at first. It’s fun, simple, and rarely redundant.
Diversion is incredibly easy to grasp. There is only one action that can be performed: jump. Your character moves from left to right, and you have to make sure to jump at the appropriate times to avoid pits, climb up ledges, jump over spikes, and avoid a ton of other obstacles. It’s surprising just how many obstacles there are and how different they all feel. Eventually, you even begin to gain powers, like limited flight and a shield to help you bypass obstacles by running straight through them.
The obstacles are all repeated level to level, but the game hardly feels repetitive. You may be experiencing the same obstacles, but they are always laid out in new and worthwhile ways, and interesting setups are never heavily reused.
At first glance, the game looks fairly dated, and second and third glances don’t do the game any favors, either. It’s reminiscent of a sharp-looking Sega Saturn game. When playing, I was reminded of the game Nights. where you played as the children walking around a 3D environment. It makes the game somewhat nostalgic, but nostalgic for a time when games were first testing the ropes of 3D rendering--not a very attractive era for video games.
There are two character models to choose from, a male and female, each with a huge collection of costumes that can be purchased or unlocked. The number of costumes really shows off one of the biggest selling points of the game: the volume of content. There are far more levels than would normally be expected of an iOS game at this price.
It’s surprising how much challenge and general fun Diversion offers. During the first few levels, it’s hard to foresee how this game could expand beyond its initial mechanic, and technically it doesn’t. You’re always running and always jumping, but it stays fresh throughout the whole game. The graphics aren’t that great, the character models and animations are awkward, and the backgrounds don’t make any real attempt to diversify, but it’s easy to look past these imperfections to a fun game. Poor presentation doesn’t prevent a game form being fun, and Diversion is proof.