Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Tilting to move a character through environments while avoiding enemies and picking up points and power-ups is not a new concept in iOS gaming. Games like this are a dime a dozen (not literally) in the iTunes App Store. That makes it very difficult for the developers of such a game to make their work stand out in the crowd. Many of these games end up being not much more than simple asset swaps of one another. Fortunately there are a few games here and there that buck the trend and offer something charming, entertaining, and challenging while moving the genre in a new direction.
Electro Chuck does a great job at taking a genre that some more jaded gamers might write off as irrelevant or trite and giving it a bit of new life. While the game's mechanics differ very little from other "tilt to dodge" titles, its unique main character, Chuck, is a bizarre and intriguing vehicle through which to experience the genre. This living winged hula-hoop or ring-like creature automatically flies along an electrified wire and it is the player's job to keep him from touching the wire too many times and electrocuting himself. This is done by tilting the device and using the accelerometer to keep Chuck as centered as possible over the wire as it twists and turns through the level. For the especially steady of hand, there are score bonuses awarded for keeping Chuck perfectly centered for long periods.
If keeping Chuck away from the electrified wire wasn't already hard enough, there are also enemies to avoid, and power-ups and score multipliers to grab that increase the final score of each level. Collecting all the stars in every section of the game will open a special arcade mode for that section. To make this all possible, Chuck has the ability to stretch himself out. When the player touches the screen he opens himself up and makes the hole in the middle of his body bigger, allowing him to reach stars amd power ups or to avoid enemies. Levels are made even more challenging by the inclusion of sections of wire where Chuck will move faster or slower than usual.
Tilting, stretching, dodging, collecting, and avoiding must all be done in tandem. This is not an easy task; and yet, it is so much fun! This is a great looking game as well and it is very well animated. Players will enjoy this game's challenge and charm, and they may be shocked by how much fun they have with it.