App Reviewed on: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
As a youngster I was always fascinated by Rube Goldberg devices. I never had the resources or the willpower to create any of these mechanisms that enamored me, but that didn't stop me from enjoying them. The new iPad title from Mystery Coconut Games provides the resources and the motivation. Casey's Contraptions is a physics puzzler that uses objects from a kid's playroom to solve problems from a child's perspective.
At the beginning of each level, Casey, the game's protagonist, hands out an objective that needs to be solved and a limited number of usable objects (scissors, books, balls) to solve it with. After placing the items on the screen, simply hit play and watch the chaos ensue. If successful the next level is unlocked; if unsuccessful the level can be replayed. Each stage also has 3 gold stars that provide score increases if collected. The game is loaded down with 3 areas: the classroom, the backyard, and the bedroom. Each area has several puzzles to solve, and their are plans to bring more areas to the game later. Most of the puzzles allow for a level of creativity because they can be solved multiple ways, and there is an option to watch other peoples solutions to each level. I had a really great time trying to figure out unique ways to solve each puzzle and acquire all the stars. Sometimes it is as simple as dropping a bowling ball onto a see-saw, and other times it can be as intricate as sending a ball down a tube to activate a spring loaded boxing glove that pushes a toy truck down a ramp.
The graphics in Casey's Contraptions are vibrant and beautifully drawn, and the music would sound right at home in a Toy Story movie. Physics in the game are exaggerated, but they are solid and consistent. I enjoyed the cartoony actions and reactions caused by most of the games objects, and easily adapted to their behavior. There is a great sandbox mode for creating puzzles with objects that are unlocked in the main game, and the game integrates Apple's Game Center perfectly with an awesome sharing feature.
Casey's Contraptions is the the type of physics puzzle game that perfectly suits the iPad. The built in puzzles provided a relaxing experience that often brought a smile to my face, and the freedom afforded by the level creator gives the game infinite replayability. The option to share puzzle solutions and custom created levels with friends from Game Center is also a huge plus. I don't think I've played a better iOS puzzle game this year, and I recommend this game to all iPad owners.
[gallery link="file" columns="4"]