App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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I don't know how it really works, but honestly that's not the point. Illness is everywhere, and it's the player's job to take care of business with the help of an adorable little boogie. The experience is cute and addictive, like many a cartoony iOS puzzle game, but it can get seriously frustrating sometimes.
The general idea behind Nose Invaders is to fling the little guy around inside of a nose and grab each of the three bacterium inside it. Touching and dragging will adjust the angle and strength of each shot, and grabbing them all in a single run usually takes some careful planning. What really mixes things up is the breathing. See, because each level is inside of a nose, there's constant breathing. And that breathing constantly reverses the "gravity" in a steady rhythm.
The core gameplay is solid and everything is cute, but it's the breathing dynamic that makes all the difference. Depending on the level it can mean an increased focus on timing, setting up a strategy ahead of time, and everything in-between. Even nabbing a single bacterium and making it through the nostril (i.e. the bottom of the screen) counts as a win, but unlocking new batches of levels requires a set amount of them. In other words, grabbing all three in each stage is both compulsive and almost essential to progression.
It's a sound concept, and can be fun enough, but there are moments where it can be a burden. The strength/angle indicator never feels entirely accurate. At least not compared to what I'm used to. It feels like I almost always fall short, then have to retry. Similarly, the timing indicators for the breathing are handy but there's this odd delay in the countdown that usually throws me off. And when success or failure hinges on such a small margin for error it can be downright infuriating.
Even with the annoyances, Nose Invaders still manages to be quite a bit of fun. So long as breaks are taken from the occasional irritation.