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Developer: Touch Village Inc.
Price: Free (for a limited time)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Chin Up is a little like Doodle Jump in that the goal is to get ever higher, but instead of tilt controls, everything is done with a touch. Just keep Mr Chin on his platform, using one finger to move him left and right and angle his lift to avoid items that fall from above.

Players have to balance Mr Chin – who bears more than a passing resemblance to The City Wok guy from South Park - while knocking excess debris that weighs him down from his precarious perch. Don’t look for political correctness here, the developers rely on stereotypes for the “humor.”

Most of the falling items are best avoided, like anvils, tanks and flocks of songbird, but there are also power ups to catch, like sushi and other treats that refill Mr Chin’s Soy Sauce, (which I think is Chin Up speak for health.) There are also balloons for extra lives, and hats that shield.

Basic power-ups can be accrued and saved in slots on the side of the playing field, and additional slots are available for in-app purchase. There are also less common power-ups like Zen shields or fiery ninja power. Chin Up is divided into levels, or cities, each of which offers the same endless gameplay. Once a certain score is reached in one world, the next opens and new games can be started from there.

The pay structure is confusing. Chin Up has no in-app currency to collect, so if gamers want to buy power-ups or unlock worlds quickly it’s going to cost money. And, those purchases are very “in-your-face” and necessary after about the midpoint when the game’s difficulty level increases dramatically.

But, right now the game is free, “for a limited time.” implying it will soon cost at least $.99. If it the developers secretly plan to adopt the freemium model these cash-only extras make more sense. If, however, the game is to remain in the paid category, the developers ought to consider some sort unmonetized reward structure to make completion more attainable.


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