Developer: Digital Click
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.4
App Reviewed on: iPad Air

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

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

It’s not very often that I ‘ragequit’ a game, and practically unheard of that I ragequit an iOS game. However, if Noi Story doesn’t achieve at managing to frustrate to the point where there’s no other option but to just give up, then it will most likely succeed in becoming bothersome with its profoundly unsubtle notion that spending more money will benefit the player to a great extent.

Don’t get me wrong, the concept is fairly original on the whole. Noi is a fish who has to aid his friends to safety on his ship after a volcano erupts and destroys their home. The idea is to help Noi and his friends overcome their difficulties by adopting some interesting game mechanics to overcome each obstacle.

IMG_0426IMG_0422Employing the three star system, players must use their finesse and apply their expertise in order to gauge the most effective way of coordinating and arranging the various animals (each defined by a different shape). The graphics are rich and vibrant, so there is no question that Noi Story is not an eye-catching game, and it may be fairly entertaining to those who love their puzzle games, but beyond that, recommending this game for purchase would be tough.

The user interface is fairly straightforward and uncomplicated, and with the adorably cute animal theme it would be hard not to assume that the game should be accessible for virtually anyone. That is, until the realization sinks in that it is practically impossible to beat without parting ways with more money. Players are expected to drag and arrange the various shapes (which embody the animals) into the most effective structure in order to collect the three stars. It is possible to pass the level by just obtaining one or two stars, but this is in fact a lot harder than it seems. The stars are conveniently placed in the most challenging positions, and to achieve a three star rating it is inevitable that purchasing the ability to rotate the shapes or undo moves will become necessary.

IMG_0425IMG_0429One thing I dislike is when developers overcomplicate matters. Perhaps it would have been easier for me to accept had Noi Story clarified this pricing model in the game’s description, but unfortunately this is not the case.

Sadly, it is hard to truly assess the worth of acquiring Noi Story in its current form. For me, it just feels like there’s something missing here, and it’s unfortunate that a fairly interesting game mechanic is let down by the requirement for undesirable in-app purchases.


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