App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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Alex isn’t like most kids. He doesn’t get his jollies from pitching a baseball, or jiving the night away at a Justin Bieber concert. He’d much rather stay indoors and make the most mundane chores seem like amazing adventures. With a wild sense of imagination and vastly superior intellect, Alex likes to set off chain reactions using any household appliances he can get his hands on.
Amazing Alex is Rovio Games’ first step away from the comfort zone of Angry Birds, and explores a more brain-taxing avenue for the mobile gaming powerhouse. Yet, while Alex isn’t sling-shotting himself from here to Mars, the use of precision-based physics remains absolutely crucial to both franchises.
As Alex, players will need to accurately position everyday items, such as books, tennis balls and scissors, sending them into existing items already on the play-space. The goal changes with each stage, whether that means Alex will need to get various shaped balls into a washing basket, or send a balloon sailing up in the air. Stages take place in a variety of different areas, from Alex’s classroom to his bedroom, and each stage has three stars that need to be collected for a perfect run.
Where Amazing Alex pulls itself away from so many other games on the platform is that it embraces its community. When completing a level in the game, players can share their solution with friends and the rest of the world. The amazing part is, with some levels featuring multiple solutions, players could very easily see things differently from their virtual neighbor, and potentially teach them an entirely new approach to completing a puzzle. Players will never feel out of their depth with Amazing Alex though, as there is a three-star solution for every puzzle which can be viewed at any time, courtesy of the game’s protagonist.
Players are also able to design their own Amazing Alex levels, and upload them so others can download from the official site. While this certainly isn’t a new concept, it feels very fresh and exciting on a mobile platform. However, if there’s one complaint to lobby at the game, it’s that the level editor isn’t particularly extensive. It doesn’t omit anything that’s already in the game, but it does expose limitations as opposed to promoting limitless possibilities.
The question many are likely asking themselves is if Amazing Alex will have the same phenomenal impact on the mobile gaming world as Angry Birds? The answer is both yes and no. Rovio haven’t created another global franchise that will print millions from merchandise. What they have done, however, is create the most important iOS game this year, and one that will, inevitably, set trends for years to come. Amazing Alex is a very engaging and challenging game, and presents all the proof needed that Rovio isn’t just a one-trick birdy.