App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I have no idea how the idea of geometric dinosaurs and rainbows correlate, but they’ve come together regardless. It’s a totally bizarre concept, but in a world full of cute and cuddly iOS mascots in simple-yet-addictive puzzle games it works. It works surprisingly well, in fact.
Expand It! is all about expansion. Obviously. Rather than piecing together pathways or strategically cutting things, players have to have a firm grasp on the idea of cause and effect in order to get their thunder lizards to the rainbow. Physics play a key role here. Different sizes equate to different weights, dinos can be strategically expanded to create ramps, and so on. Tapping a “dinosaur” will cause it to grow, and each can only grow to a certain extent before they’ve reached their limit. However a badly timed tap can lead to a key dinosaur getting knocked off the stage from a nasty red spike so it’s important to plan ahead and be careful.
The controls and core gameplay of Expand It! are about as straightforward as they can get. It’s all tapping on shapes and nothing but tapping on shapes. It’s the timing and order of this tapping that can mean the difference between success and total failure. Things get especially interesting when moving and timed elements (such as rotating pinwheels and “vehicles”) are introduced. And, of course, the dinosaur-shapes are all super-cute.
As genuinely entertaining and weird as Expand It! can be, it does suffer a bit from too much trial-and-error. Some of these levels simply cannot be solved with three stars on the first attempt. At least not unless the player can process information (and react) faster than a computer. I’m also not too crazy about the way some levels seem downright impossible to earn three stars. The three-pronged scoring system is time-based, and sometimes elements take a few seconds to get into position, so at the very least it can be incredibly difficult to get the maximum score.
In the end, Expand It! is a fun (and cute) little distraction of an iOS game. It can get frustrating at times, but it does a pretty good job of merging rainbows, dinosaurs, and physics more often than not.