148Apps Network Post
Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

It’s just another day of playful activities and some light mockery for a congested green pig and his friends. At least, until a bunch of nasty monsters show up and give chase. Now it’s up to the sneezing Sus scrofa to use his snot-blasting powers to save his friends – well, at least save the one nice one.

Each level in Gesundheit! is a bizarre combination of maze-like structures, lure placement, ricochet physics and running from the jaws of death. Things begin simple enough with using the little green guy’s boogies to draw the big red things into the open maw of some sort of worm-thing, while attempting to gather all three pieces of Star Fruit that have been scattered around. As the game progresses and the layouts get more complicated, new elements such as switches and doors, flying enemies and sneeze-enhancing flower patches come into play. It ramps up nice and steady, giving players a chance to figure out how it all works before throwing something new at them.

On its own, Gesundheit! would be a fun game with all the addictiveness every App Store puzzle game is contractually obligated to have. However, Matt Hammill’s storybook-style illustrations take everything to a whole new level. The graphics and animations (not to mention the whimsical music) are saturated with personality, and it all makes playing a stage almost feels like playing around inside an interactive kids books/Saturday morning cartoon. This is, without a doubt, the most adorable game I’ve encountered on the App Store.

While an obviously ridiculous amount of TLC has gone into Gesundheit!‘s presentation, I think the interface could have used just a little more attention. Getting around and shooting nose-loogies works well enough most of the time, but in a pinch (i.e. when being pursued) they sometimes feel a bit unresponsive. It mostly has to do with the pig’s path-finding, which will sometimes result in him coming to a complete stop or, even worse, running in the wrong direction. The second problem I’ve noticed is that it can be rather tough to aim and adjust snot strength when the pig is too close to the edge of the screen. Moving him in a bit helps, but it can be annoying to line up a shot only to realize there isn’t enough room to pull back the strength indicator all the way.

But these are really minor scuffs on the finish of an otherwise lovingly crafted game. Gesundheit! has plenty of levels (with leaderboards) to keep players busy, lots of new elements are introduced regularly that build upon the basic mechanics, it looks amazing and it’s just so darned cute. I urge everyone to grab it now, while it’s still got that $0.99 introductory price.

148Apps Network content from - http://theportablegamer.com
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