Developer: Kimmo Lahtinen
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Puzzle games and creation seem to go hand in hand. Everything from the off-the-wall Rube Goldberg sequences of The Incredible Machine to the far more recent Bad Piggies use this mechanic to force players to think outside the box and combine otherwise worthless items to create something special. Cosmic Mechanic looks to tap into a similar vein, while still offering up interstellar new modes and gameplay scenarios.

IMG_0340Each and every stage in Cosmic Mechanic starts the player off in a sandbox, featuring a collection of random parts and the box containing the “Cosmic Dude.” By attaching these widely varied items to the box, players can create seemingly endless combinations of different contraptions in the name of accomplishing the level’s end objective.

There are four different modes including a time trial, collection mission (ala Bad Piggies), what amounts to a glorified long jump, and the standard puzzle mode. In the time trail and puzzle modes the objectives are clear: make it to the end of the level by whatever means necessary. Everything from random environmental objects to total changes in elevation will attempt to obstruct the player’s way. Probably the most amusing is the long jump, where the items in the toolbox are used to create the “vehicle” that will bounce the furthest when dropped off a cliff. Sure it isn’t rocket science by any stretch of the imagination, but it both gratifying and rewarding to experiment and tinker.

IMG_0342Though Cosmic Mechanic supports Retina displays, ultimately that is a bit of a misnomer because of how simplistic the visuals appear. The art style would suggest that the game is targeted at younger age groups, which would also explain the fairly repetitive stage structure. Probably the biggest sticking point is using the excuse of being in space to explain the mediocre physics engine. Once again, this isn’t meant to be rocket science, but when bounces are this irregular it makes it very difficult to feel confident in the vehicular design stages.

Offering up a solid collection of over fifty levels, Cosmic Mechanic is an entertaining adventure – as long as the player isn’t a stickler for realism. Unfortunately, saying that something simply isn’t bad doesn’t necessarily act as a glowing endorsement, either. If hard-pressed, this would probably end up falling into the, “pass” category.

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