Chillingo iOS Roundup – Volume Three
It’s time for another roundup of some of the Chillingo games we’ve been playing over the last couple of weeks. They range in style from a game which you’re more likely to enjoy alone, sitting quietly in a corner, to family games which will ensue in madness as you pass the device and shout at each other. All in the name of fun of course. Which of these styles you prefer to play is a personal choice. Some of you may prefer the quiet games whilst others may be drawn to the party-style ones, and your preference is something you’ll need to think about when you’re about to make your next awesome Chillingo title purchase. We here at GodisaGeek.com can only show you the paths to those games, but which you choose to take is entirely up to you.
Titles are available on iPhone and iPad unless specifically stated otherwise. If you like what you hear, click the small black “App Store” button to load iTunes up and purchase the title!
INCREDIBLE EXPRESS HD: Have you ever thought of yourself as a rail tycoon, delivering the world’s supply of everything they could ever need on the back of your trusty train? So did Maria, the protagonist of Incredible Express HD, developed by ICE HILL. Always dreaming about starting a business, she decided to make her dream a reality, and that”s where you come in. You must help her become the successful rail tycoon she desperately wants to be. Place tracks, operate railway points and control the switches and lights to deliver valuable goods and help Maria transform her little train company into a transatlantic giant!
The gameplay in Incredible Express HD revolves around making deliveries within a specific time frame. In order to make the deliveries, the player must manage the game world in the most efficient way possible. The more efficiently you manage the specific world you’re given, the faster they’ll be able to make the deliveries. The faster the player can make their deliveries, the more points they’ll get at the end of the level. This mechanic continus throughout all the levels in the game, but instead of getting repetitive, it maintains its charm, and develops as a few more little puzzles are thrown in along the way. These puzzles will ensure that most players will keep coming back to each of the levels in order to get the expert score by trying to make everything as efficient as they possibly can, just like the businessman the game wants you to be.
The controls in Incredible Express HD are based around touching the device, and while this does feel intuitive and easy to pick up for new players, the scale of the objects on the screen can make them a little difficult to tap. For example, there may be a couple of track intersections fairly close to each other and you may need to quickly change the direction of a track, but because the objects are so small and so close together, you are likely to click on the wrong one by accident, sending your trusty locomotive down a totally different path than the one you intended. This happens fairly often and while it doesn’t really detract from the overall fun of the game, it can get a little bit frustrating at times because it causes players who want to get the perfect score on each level to restart.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys management puzzles, then you’re probably going to love Incredible Express HD. The art style makes everything enjoyable to look at, and the music is remeniscent of the management games we all grew up with such as Theme Hospital and Theme Park. The charm is evident from the moment you start the game and continues throughout. The puzzles are easy enough to learn whilst still being difficult enough to master to keep most people interested for the long term and with plenty of levels and a decent amount of reply value, you’ll be playing it for a while.
RED BALL 3 HD: Your girlfriend has been captured by your old nemesis and it’s up to you to get her back! Bounce, float, fly and roll your way around the many challenging and unique levels, collect stars and make it to the flag at the end! That’s it, except for the fact that you’re a ball, so there’s only a few things that you’ve got in your arsenal. Bouncing is one, rolling is another. That’s about it really. Can you do enough to get your girlfriend back? That’s the question that Red Ball 3 HD and its developers RedBallStudio are asking, and you’re here to provide the answer.
In the same vein as a standard platformer, the aim of Red Ball 3 HD is to get the little character to the end of the level, overcoming all sort of traps and puzzles along the way. The traps get harder and harder as the levels progress, but they always stay challenging and entertaining. The art style of the game makes it accessible for all ages, whilst the collection of stars gives the game something for the collectors amongst us to keep coming back for. There are other games out there in the same style as Red Ball 3 HD, and although some of them are done a little better overall, this game has charm. This is helped along by a hand-drawn art style that is totally unique and will no doubt be appealing to the masses, especially considering Red Ball 3 HD’s relatively cheap price point for a HD title.
The controls of Red Ball 3 HD are very similar to those of Storm In A Teacup: there are two buttons that control the left and right movement of the ball, and another single button for jump. Everything else is dependent on the player’s wit and their ability to overcome the obstacles. Whilst the controls are the same as Storm In A Teacup, they don’t feel as responsive as they do in that game. The game is a victim of the usual limitations of touch screen controls, which don’t give any tactile feedback, which gives the control scheme an overall sluggish feeling. Most players will overcome their dislike of the controls due to the fact that the levels themselves are enjoyable enough to keep playing. However, every so often, the lack of feedback ends up slightly dulling the overall experience which, considering the thoughtfulness of the designs of the levels, is a shame.
If you’re looking for a charming yet cheap HD game, you can’t go far wrong with Red Ball 3 HD. Yes, it’s got its problems, especially with the control scheme, but the level design makes up for it for the most part. The collection aspect gives players a reason to come back again and again, and the art style and simplistic game controls make it accessible to a wide range of people. Is a simple red ball capable of doing enough to save anything? Have you got what it takes to help him achieve his goal? Better get started…
LET’S JUMP!: If you’re the type of person who enjoys score-based games where the only objective is to get as high as you can, then you’ll probably enjoy Let’s Jump!. Guide your little gooey, bouncy blob to dizzying heights, avoid crumbling platforms, hop onto super jumping power ups and grab the highest score you can! It’s fun jumping alone, but it’s even better with a friend, so go head-to-head with your friends and see who can reach the top first. Why would you want to get higher than your friend or family member? Because you can, of course!
As with most other notable jumping games, the aim of Let’s Jump! is to get as high as you can without falling. The higher you manage to get, the higher your score will be. The simplicity of the gameplay is the beauty of games such as this, and it’s the pure need to get a higher and higher score that keeps the players coming back for more. However, Let’s Jump! goes one step further, adding an element of competition with people other than yourself. Players are able to challenge their friends or family either locally (by passing the device to a person) or remotely. You can play remotely via bluetooth or online, using the built-in Game Centre features. This competition aspect of the game will drive people to keep playing, whilst also helping to add to the overall fun factor of the game.
There are two possible control methods in Let’s Jump!. Players can either use the tilt function of the device they’re playing on to move the blob onto the object they’re jumping on or, if that control method feels a little bit odd, they can switch to a touch control method where they swipe the screen to move the background. Both methods of controlling the game are fairly intuitive, but can sometimes be a little bit hard to pick up for new players, especially if they’ve never played this type of game before. The tilt control method is very sensitive, and this can cause new players to overshoot a lot of the platforms leading to a little frustration at first. The other control scheme, the swipe method, involves the player swiping the background instead of the main character. Moving the character is what most players will be expecting, so the fact that the background moves when they’re swiping instead could lead to confusion. These problems with the control schemes are often cleared up after a few minutes of gameplay, but could cause new players to lose interest if they can’t grasp it quickly enough.
Let’s Jump! is a fun little jumping game that can get very addictive, very quickly. It’s a little similar to Doodle Jump, which might put some people off but it’s got enough new additions to keep it fresh in light of the similarities. The competitive features, especially the “Pass the Device” local play mode, gives Let’s Jump! a form of multiplayer gameplay that’s absent from most iOS titles and it’s refreshing, and a lot of fun, to see back.