Developer: Ham in the Fridge
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Bumpin’ Uglies has a heck of a lot of charm for a game full of disembodied and strange looking heads. It’s a pretty challenging game too, despite those oddly cutesy looks.

Despite early assumptions, Bumpin’ Uglies isn’t really a physics puzzle game, it’s more of a platformer, albeit one where physics play an even more important role than usual. The idea is that players drag a finger away from the Ugly (the disembodied head) and then fling them at their target. At first, this is simple and involves hardly any effort. The first couple of levels levels are quite straight forward, merely giving players an introduction to the techniques used.

Within the first world, though, challenge soon becomes apparent. Careful flicks are required to get the Ugly through narrow gaps, across platforms that rotate and out the other side of circular tunnels. Unlike other games similar to this, players don’t need to complete a stage within a certain number of moves or within a set time limit. It’s a refreshing step, taking the edge off any possible difficulty. Instead, players are presented with a number of Shineys that can be collected. These shineys not only give one a sense of achievement, but they can also be used to unlock special power-ups and new levels.

The power-ups, in particular, are near vital at times. A shrinking action, for instance, makes it possible to get into small nooks and crannies, while a speed boost makes it easier to get higher up within a level. This extends replayability quite significantly, although it does also encourage players to spend real money on buying extra Shineys, thereby making things easier and unlocking new worlds.

It’s all quite keenly balanced, however, ensuring there’s fun to be had for free and also for an extra few cents. Being able to change the looks of individual Uglies is a neat touch too, adding a dose of personality to proceedings. Well planned out, Bumpin’ Uglies is a fun distraction, regardless of whether one wants to spend extra or not.

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