Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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As any avid Angry Birds player knows, much time is spent hammering the 'restart' button in order to correct a fatal mistake in the trajectory of the bird. It's a similar case with Kona's Crate. While players must move crates from one end of the level to the other rather than wipe out the pig hordes, the basic premise is still rather similar.
For unexplained reasons, the player has to control a jet-powered platform in order to move a crate to Chief Kona on the other side. Using a thrust based mechanism; a tap of the left of the screen controls the left thruster while the right half controls the right thruster. Early levels gradually introduce this concept. At first, players only really need to tap one or the other and the crate practically guides itself. It's not long however until careful manoeuvring of all manners of platforms is required to achieve success. The crate all too readily will fall off the lift if, for example, it hits the ceiling of the level too hard. Much like many thrust based games of old, very precise taps of the screen are needed to succeed.
Things are made even harder by the obstacles that players come up against. Some levels are veritable mazes requiring precise movements to go around walls without clipping them and messing up the trajectory. Other levels introduce concepts such as floating blocks that need careful timing, or TNT crates that immediately destroy the player's crate. Steam geysers also appear to challenge the player further.
Kona's Crate offers 60 levels in all across three different campaign modes so once the player hits a metaphorical brick wall, they can always switch to a different campaign to move onwards. Much like Angry Birds and other physics puzzlers, there's a three star scoring system to encourage players to go back and perfect their times.
Kona's Crate is compelling stuff. It's challenging after a while and will occasionally make the player want to tear their hair out as on the 50th attempt, they struggle to get past that pesky last corner. But players will still go back for more thanks to the appropriate physics engine that means the player never feels cheated by it. Hopefully by the time the 60 levels have been completed, an update will come along for more. It's certainly got potential for it.