Centripetal Review
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Centripetal Review

Our Review by Greg Dawson on November 7th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PUZZLE TETHERBALL
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Centripetal is a difficult, but very addicting maze game with a tetherball twist.

Developer: Phoenix 911 Networking Group
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Puzzle maze genre, meet tetherball. Tetherball, meet puzzle maze genre. Centripetal, designed for iPhone and iPad, is an interesting combination of the aforementioned styles of gaming. Playing the game is like trying to solve physics problems while also swinging from a rope. I know. Awkward. My brain was both intrigued and overheated after a few rounds of this game.

The point of the game is to get the blue glowing orb to the exit, which is indicated by the purple circle normally at the opposite side of the screen. And while the goal is simple, undertaking the physical motion of swinging the orb to the other side is rather difficult.

Where most puzzle games allow the player to tilt, tap or swipe, Centripetal only allows them to activate a central point where a rope slings out and is automatically attached to the ball. Say the player wants to swing the ball to the left, they would need to position the central point, activated by touching the screen with one finger, and be on the left side of the screen. Oh, and the ball is always bouncing so if connected to the tether on the up bounce then the ball is going to swing to the upper left or upper right. If the ball is moving downward when attached then it will swing to the bottom left or bottom right.

My only gripe bout gameplay is the lack of a tutorial, which adds to the headache of the first few levels as getting the ball from one side to the other is pure luck. However, I will say that after the first few levels I was getting pretty good at knowing where to place the tether to get my ball going in the right direction.

And just when the player starts to get the hang of the game mechanics, the developer decided to throw obstacles in the way in the form of blocks that impede progress or circles that have certain airflows and red orbs that continuously move. They are the worst and will frustrate just about anyone who steps into the ring. Then, if obstacles weren't enough, certain levels feature a border of fire hazards that when touched disintegrate the ball and start the turn over.

If a very difficult puzzle with a unique twist of integrating tetherball mechanics is something of interest, then Centripetal will be plenty of fun. Beware, its difficulty is fierce, but its addictiveness is even more fierce.

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