Thursday, October 7, 2010

App O' The Mornin': Cut the Rope Review

Cut the Rope is one of the best puzzlers to hit the App Store in a long time. If any game has the potential to knock those Angry Birds off their perch, it's this one.

The gameplay is based on an old physics-puzzle standby. Hanging objects function like pendulums, and you need to cut the ropes at precisely the right time and in exactly the right sequence to get the object where it needs to go.

In this case, the problem is how to get a piece of candy into the mouth of a voracious (yet adorable) little monster. The puzzles start out with a single element: a piece of candy dangling from a rope. It's directly over the monster, and a line of 3 stars are right below it. Cut the rope with a finger swipe, and the candy collects the stars as it drops into the monster's mouth.

The puzzles quickly add both complexity and new variables. Stars are spread around, multiple ropes are attached, and solutions become part logic and part dexterity. Bubbles lift the candy up, whoopee cushions push it around, new ropes pop up, and movable pivots allow you to shift the rope. Meanwhile, spikes, electrodes, and spiders appear as hazards. Every time you think you've got the game figured out, it adds some new and inventive element.

There are 4 sets of 25 puzzles each, with more to come. Each puzzle has one basic requirement for victory: get the candy in the monster's mouth. The tricky part, however, is to do so while collecting all 3 stars on every screen. Merely getting the candy where it needs to go isn't that hard, but you'll want to keep trying until you figure out how to pull it off while getting all 3 stars.

Like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope is from Chillingo. They obviously have a knack for combining excellent character and art design with horribly addictive gameplay. Get used to the sight of that little bug-eyed monster, folks: he's going to be sitting on the top-10 list for a long time.


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