Developer: Pan Studio AB
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G, iPad 1G

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Piclings is a novel technological concept – instead of levels being explicitly designed with specific artwork, levels in this game can be created through user-imported photographs that serve as the background and form platforms that can be navigated on. The player character, a creature named Picazzo can fly through the levels via a joystick placed anywhere on the screen with a finger. Picazzo navigates the levels collecting coins and avoiding enemies who can kill each other if the player can entice them into killing each other, or by way of a powerup that lets Picazzo kill enemies by touching them. Levels are completed when all the coins are collected, with bonuses given for killing extra enemies and completing the level in under the given time.

Piclings makes level creation easy – when a photo is imported, the platforms and other elements are automatically generated. However, it is easy to go in and edit levels and create platforms in any place, in a very user-friendly way. Any photo that is a minimum of 480×480 can be imported – shots of landscapes or urban architecture work best. It is also possible to take a photo straight from the app for use with the game. The game is a universal app. There are Game Center leaderboards and achievements, as well, although there is only one collective leaderboard for custom levels.

Unfortunately, by basing levels on real photos, errors do occasionally happen, as platforms can be in weird places. The editor can edit platform locations, but item and enemy locations are still randomly generated. There isn’t much in the way of actual gameplay progression – there’s only high scoring, and level creation.

Piclings doesn’t have a lot to meat to it, but it does have a unique concept that works well, and makes for an interesting technological concept. It needs some more work to be a fully-fledged game, but it is a fun curiosity.

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