Developer: Mobigame
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
Device Reviewed On: iPad, iPod touch 4G

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Perfect Cell is funny in a way. A lot of work was put in to making the game unique, but no one applied any of that ingenuity to the level design. Perfect Cell puts you in control of a life form known as the Perfect Cell that is trying to escape from the scientists and soldiers that have imprisoned it. Your goal is to try to get to the end of levels, either avoiding or taking out the enemies in your path, and collecting things like prisms. You can fly around, attack enemies by swiping to dash, and can split up into multiple cells for purposes of solving puzzles and attacking enemies.

The game allows you to play in the way you choose – if you want to go all-out in attacking your enemies (the ones that can be killed, anyway), you can play that way, and the game offers plenty of methods for you to dispose of your enemies, like a dash attack that travels in the path of a line you draw. If you want to try to skillfully avoid combat by using stealth, the game accommodates you as well, and offers rewards for both going on murderous rampages and being stealthy, adding to the replay value. The controls aren’t perfect, but they take advantage of the touch screen very well, allowing you to independently control multiple Cells whenever you need to. As well, the game supports the Retina Display and is a universal app for the iPad as well.

Perfect Cell’s level design is absolutely uninspired. The levels overly rely on the design element of lasers moving back and forth, bypassing them by going to where the lasers are temporarily blocked. It gets old after 3 or 4 levels…but the game keeps using them. You also have switch puzzles to solve, and narrow tunnels, often with indistinguishable destructible entries. This game’s levels are culled from Cliche Level Design 101. The movement controls are difficult to use whenever you need to move just a short distance, like to get lined up with a switch. Also, the 2D enemy graphics stick out like a sore thumb among the rest of the 3D graphics.

Perfect Cell has some good ideas, but just suffers way too much from poor controls and some of the most cliched and repetitive level design I’ve ever set eyes on. With some better level design, the game could really be something special. This Cell needs some more evolution before it can be Perfect.

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