Version Reviewed: 1.0
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Physics-based puzzle games are numerous on the App Store, and luminaries such as the Enigmo series, Tiki Towers, and the Perfect Balance series have proven the iPhone to be a haven for the genre. iBlast Moki stands above them all with challenging gameplay and almost unlimited replay value.
The goal of iBlast Moki is simple: rescue all the Mokis in each level by getting them to the portal. The means by which to reach this end, however, is a completely different matter. In each level, you are given a limited number of objects by which to transport the Mokis. The main means of transportation are bombs, and the early levels have you practicing the placement of bombs to blast the Mokis at the correct trajectories and strength to get into the portals. As the levels progress, you have to place multiple bombs by putting them on time delays, which you can do to the precision of 5/100's of a second. Later levels introduce towers to be knocked down, hinges to be opened, and devious cavernous level designs. In the last few worlds, you are given more tools at your disposal: balloons that constantly rise, rope (which does not interact with the environment or with Mokis), steel bars (which interact with everything), wheels (which automatically turn), and screws (which can be used to hold bars in place). While these welcome additions make some levels fantastically devious, too many later levels lose sight of the bomb-based gameplay and opt for more of a "Fantastic Contraptions" feel. Worlds have unique themes: one world is set underwater, and as such, light objects float upwards and heavy objects sink, one world, Induland, utilizes many pulleys and levers, and the last world, set inside a giant Moki, uses lots of wheels and balloons. The puzzles of iBlast Moki are decidedly not open-ended - there is clearly one intended solution - but this is actually a good thing as otherwise you might spend days on a puzzle not knowing if you're proceeding in the right direction.
iBlast Moki contains over 70 levels spread across 6 unique worlds. Early levels take no more than a minute, but later ones can stump you for a while. In addition, there is a ranking system that awards bronze, silver, and gold medals based on time and number of flowers collected by the Mokis. Oh, and did I mention that the game comes fully integrated with ngmoco's superb Plus+ network? But that's not all, folks; iBlast Moki comes complete with a full in game level editor. A few elements are missing from the editor, and the controls could be a bit more intuitive, but overall, it works like a charm. To play other people's levels, Godzilab has included a Little Big Planet-esque set up where you can view by top ranked, most viewed, or recently uploaded. After you choose a level, you can instantly play it with no loading times.
The controls in iBlast Moki are, of course, drag based, with special inputs like dragging a wheel around a bomb to set the delay time, dragging the end of a rope or bar to adjust its size, and double tapping to erase an object. This works very well, though sometimes the touch sensitivity for objects, especially at higher zooms, leaves something to be desired and the magnifying glass, purportedly there for precision, is occasionally intrusive. The puzzles are very trial and error based, so if all does not get according to plan, you can press a button and everything will snap back to the way it was before you pressed the blast button. This way, you can easily adjust that last bomb time 5/100 sec longer and fire away again. There are also undo and redo options.
iBlast Moki contains a nice clean 2D aesthetic that can best be described as more vibrant Rolando 1. The backgrounds are psychedelic, the Mokis cute, and the graphical style overall lends charm to the game. The music is ridiculously catchy albeit a tad repetitive, and the sound effects are good.
iBlast Moki is the best physics game for the iPhone, and at $1.99, it would be criminal to pass up one the best games of the year.