iPhone Game Reviews: Fleck And Pseudemys From SurvivorSoft
Note: We have recently opened up the Apple/Mac/iPhone/iPod section of 8bitrocket.com. In this section we will be exploring both playing games and making games for these platforms.
Fleck arrives like a lamb and then slays you like a lion. Underneath the pleasing cartoony graphics and cute design aesthetic lie a serious of ferocious puzzles that are both addictive and maddening...and at some point becomes maddeningly addictive.
The game is based on a rather simple but unique (to me)c oncept: Your job is to move Fleck across the magic garden to enter the cave. Fleck must avoid the poison rain drops and the poison mushrooms as he tries to negotiate his way to solve each level. While the game sounds like an action platformer, it's actually a very clever puzzle. Every move is turn-based. You move Fleck by sliding your finger from his current position to any square that is located up, down, right or left from Fleck. You need to select a square that does not have a mushroom or raindrop...or that is WILL NOT contain a mushroom or raindrop on the next turn. Raindrops fall down, and mushrooms move to the left. Your job is to calculate which square will be safe on the next turn. Blue rain drops and brown mushroom are bonus object that can be picked-up if they end-up in the same square as Fleck (and he does not die at the same time).
If the above sounds complicated, well, that is because it is complicated ...until you realize just how simple the game really is. The only real problem with the game is exactly that. It is very difficult to get started. the learning curve is basically nonexistent. The game is very easy to lose the first 10 or 20 times on your first move.This may turn people off, but as soon as the virtual "light bulb" ignites and you see the how the game works, it might be tough to pull yourself away. I think here is a missing "learning mode" here, but that is about it. The puzzles are addictive and unique, and well worth the $2.99 asking price on iTunes.
Pseudemys is different kind of puzzle game entirely. It is based on multiple types of tile puzzles: sliding unscramble puzzles, matching puzzles, swap the image puzzles, etc. You unlock each puzzle subsequently as you solve the one before it. All the puzzles are well made and look gorgeous. The only issue you might have with the game is that if you run into a puzzle type that confounds you (i.e. for me it was the first sliding puzzle), you might not get very far in the game. If I was the developer, I would have allowed the user to choose from a couple puzzles at the beginning and use a tree-type structure to advance. Other than that,there is little to complain about. The design is just as pleasing as Fleck, and also like Fleck, the programming seems bug-free and competent. I personally would buy Fleck first, and this second, but if you like sliding puzzles, this would be a great choice.
You can learn more about both these games at the Survivorsoft Web Site.