Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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With every step taken, the ground underfoot trembles as if in anticipation of an impending quake. The only way to avoid plummeting into an infinite chasm of death is to keep moving. Every moment spent meandering brings the player one moment closer to their death. And so the quest of pushing forward continues to propel players of the new puzzler, Almightree: The Last Dreamer - because that is the only way to survive.
The action of Almightree plays out in a standard puzzle/platformer style. As the main character continues to move forward, he encounters obstacles that are too tall to surmount. This is where the player steps in using the touch screen controls, with a pair of taps to select one cube on the grid and then choose a location to move that cube. Given that the on-screen avatar can climb up one cube in height, the idea is to use the environment to build a path towards the exit.
Basic puzzles consist of trying to traverse small gaps, all the way up to creating a simulated staircase where there was once nothing more than an insurmountable wall. Navigation is done using the on-screen d-pad, which is a fairly straightforward way to move through the twenty stages of this adventure. Though that sounds rather brief, there are several difficulty levels that help to prolong the experience by speeding up the rate at which the ground deteriorates underfoot.
Almightree supposedly draws inspiration from Nintendo’s omnipresent Zelda franchise, but aside from a few aesthetic decisions the comparisons are a stretch at best. It is possible that a couple of character models could have existed in the same universe as Link, but the sort of comparison that the developer is looking for may be doing the game a disservice. This could easily stand on its own as a unique, though admittedly truncated, experience.
Using a perpetually building level of challenge to make the player steadily improve their abilities is the one true triumph of Almightree: The Last Dreamer. It is an amusing puzzler that never feels unfair. Mix in the high production values and great replayablility, and the result is a platformer that is well worth the two-dollar sticker price.