Developer: Vesa Kippola
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

One would think a being capable of changing its atomic structure would be able to move around is it pleases but apparently something had to be given up in order to balance out. Although I suppose while the being in question wouldn’t make for much of a superhero they could certainly work out well as an iOS game character. And for the most part they do.

Megamassive is a game about a “thing” that’s trying to get from the start of a given level to the black hole at the end. The catch is that this bizarre creature – at least I think it’s a creature of some kind – can’t move of its own free will. Instead players will have to change its physical properties on the fly, swapping between liquid, gas, and solid forms in order to get it moving through the environment and hopefully to the goal. Changing between the three is as easy as tapping the button associated with it. Of course actually navigating the level is a bit trickier. Water is a little lighter and bouncier than stone and can fall straight through some obstacles like “dotted lines.” Air floats and has a tendency to straighten out its ascent the longer it’s in motion. Stone is good for slowing down on a ramp, rolling over “dotted line” obstacles, and taking less time to even out and drop when shifting from air.

It’s a simple concept that can be downright devious as the levels get more complicated. Little tricks such as shifting to the water drop in order to build up speed down a ramp and immediately shifting to air in order to build off of that momentum coming off the jump are only the beginning. Before long players will be shifting back and forth several times per level as they attempt to find the quickest (not always the easiest) route to the end.

When a game relies solely on its physics engine it runs the risk of magnifying that engine’s flaws, no matter how small they might be. It’s happened before, and it’s happened again with Megamassive. The engine isn’t broken by any means and actually does a good job of conveying the proper feel for all three forms overall, but sometimes it can be a little off which can completely wreck a player’s completion time. Seriously, missing a gap by in-game inches for no discernable reason other than the engine calculating things slightly differently than expected is a real drag. The qualifying times for earning stars also feel a bit unrealistic, which doesn’t help matters.

Minor miscalculations aside, Megamassive is an impressive physics-only puzzle game. It’s incredibly easy to learn and fun to experiment with even if it can be a tad too unforgiving.


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