148Apps Network Post
Developer: 10tons Ltd
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2 / iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The Whispering Woods are home to the Peablins, stars of the new logic puzzle, Joining Hands, by 10tons, and they need your help to make them smile.

Making the Peablins happy is simple; as the game title suggests, it’s all about holding hands.

The object is to place unhappy Peablins, how many and what kind are based on the level’s difficulty, onto a game grid, adjacent to others in order to lock hands.

Each character has a set number of hands; you need to connect them all to make them smile and progress to the next level.

The graphics are rich on both the iPhone’s retina display and iPad’s 9.7″ LED screen, and the game mechanics are simple and fluid.

Just drag and drop Peablins where you think they ought to go. Hands will connect to available hands automatically. You can make one chain or several smaller chains on the game board, as long as you make everyone happy.

There are several varieties of Peablins, each with its own rules: some can join hands in any direction, others are fixed, and some are just plain hard to please. There are also obstacles, score boosters and power-ups.

Gamers have voiced concern that the game may be too complex (it’s actually quite simple, but it’s hard to tell from the iTunes description) and general confusion over how it all works, so 10Tons made this gameplay video to help clarity:

While the characters and some levels are kid-friendly, this game is not child’s play. The difficulty increases rapidly and while you won’t be pulling out your hair in frustration, the game does require a fair amount of mental gymnastics.

There are no leaderboards or achievements as yet, nor any gaming network integration. There are also, at present, only five worlds (not including the tutorial) with 12 levels on each. 10Tons promises more levels are coming in an update soon, and they are considering adding in-game goals. Both would improve replay value significantly.

Joining Hands is distinct in that is really is a pure logic game. It takes trial and error and patience too. But it’s a challenge and with the App Store bursting at the seems with physics, matching and action puzzlers, this is a novel treat. The game is sure to please any clever puzzle-lovers. It’s definitely worth checking out.

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