Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Bring Me Down was given the name because it describes the goal of the game. But, it might as easily have been called Bring Me Up because it has the compulsive replayablity that causes sleepless nights and really ups the ante when it comes to looks and physics puzzlers.
The object of the game is simple. A little critter and two bananas are perched atop a series of boxes and boards. Players must tap to select which of these to remove in order to bring the little guy and his snacks safely down to the landing pad. Getting him to safety requires some thought, as the game progresses through the 50 levels, but the basic mechanics are not unfamiliar. Or they would be familiar if developer Hany Malek had not rendered this game in stunning 3D. Because he has, players must take some time checking the puzzle out from all angles before carefully selecting which pieces to remove. Think Jenga but with round objects atop the tower.
Blocks can’t be slid out slowly, but they can be tapped quickly in sequence or dropped one at a time. The physics feel true to both gravity and to the speed of the manoeuvres, as the little monster and his snacks fall onto, or more often, off of the landing pad. Players can turn the puzzle 360 degrees with simple intuitive gestures.
Saving the bananas is not necessary; to unlock successive levels all that needs doing is getting the monster down without harm. The bananas serve in the place of stars in similar puzzlers, adding replay value to the challenges for players who like perfect scores.
Aside from the added literal and figurative dimension the 3D offers to the gameplay, it also adds a real beauty and depth (yes that’s two bad puns in one sentence) to the game. It’s clear careful attention went into making this game look good from whatever angle the player views it from. And while they exist in their normal planes, the music and sound effects are appealing too. The levels often present a challenge, but restarting is quick and there is no one fixed solution to the puzzles, all of which makes for a game that is very hard to put down.
The only thing missing is any sort of social gaming network integration. This is a game that screams for achievements and leaderboards, and I hope to see some in an update soon. But, for a $.99 universal puzzler that both looks and reacts differently from the standard fare, Bring Me Down is definitely worth picking up.