App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Life is good for a small band of folk spirits, until one day some dark and horrible corruption starts to spread throughout the land. Now the Hairys - with the help of their corruption-fighting crystals - have to clean up the mess and get things back to the way they were. It’s a journey fraught with peril (and its fair share of frustration) but it’s a journey well worth taking.
Each of Hairy Tales’ 72 levels is comprised of a series of floating hexagonal landmasses. Players have the opportunity to rearrange and rotate any moveable chunks as they see fit before tapping Hairy to send him on his merry way. The placement is vital, however, as the well-intentioned spirit only runs in one direction: forward. So getting Hairy to the exit, not to mention having him grab the crystal and wipe out the corruption, takes some careful use of guide arrows and the like. Of course the longer it takes to figure out a solution the more the corruption will spread and the fewer pieces of land a player will be able to manipulate.
Hairy Tales’ puzzles are a clever series of challenging scenarios with new elements (teleporters, enemies, etc) constantly getting thrown into the mix. It only takes a few levels of progress before things go from breezy to brutal which should definitely keep most puzzle veterans from getting bored. Heck, it only takes a few levels before players will have to move tiles around while Hairy’s in motion. However the criteria for successful completion are forgiving enough that even brain teaser initiates will be able to work out a solution before too long and there’s no real penalty for restarting a given puzzle. That’s not to say it’s a perfect experience, though.
Oddly enough my problems aren’t with the controls (for once). It’s the camera. Moving requires two fingers while zooming in and out is far too touchy and typically goes from one extreme to the other without any real chance on settling somewhere in the middle. It’s awkward at the very least. However the bigger issue I’ve had is that the default angle sometimes makes it difficult to predict exactly where Hairy will end up running; which turns out to be off a cliff most of the time. Zooming out to the top-down view helps a lot, but it really distances players from the charming atmosphere and starts to feel a bit mundane if used for too long.
Hairy Tales certainly has a few elements that make warding off the corruption a bit more taxing than it ought to be, but it’s still a very entertaining puzzle game with loads of bushy cuteness. So go ahead; grab a crystal and start running. Just mind the gaps.