Developer: Coatsink
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Pinch 2 SE is a complicated one to explain. No, not the premise, that’s simple enough, but the name. Pinch 2 was solely available for the iPad so now we come to Pinch 2 SE, the iPhone version which also happens to have had a lick of graphical paint and general sprucing up. Naming conventions aside and Pinch 2 SE might not be hugely innovative but it is excellent fun for puzzle fans.

The concept is simple enough and introduced well. Players must navigate small blobs (or Norbs) around a maze, negotiating their way around various traps and obstacles. Things start out extremely easily with no real challenge, but it’s only a few levels in that the comparative depth starts to show through. For one thing, pinching is a very valuable technique here. Pinch a large Norb and it separates into smaller Norbs. Given that some doorways will only offer enough room for a single Norb rather than a large conjoined one, this proves valuable. On the other hand, pits are scattered around each stage requiring Norbs of a particular size to negotiate them safely.

Combined, such elements prove quite brainteasing and that’s before I mention the inclusion of gates that only allow for a certain number of moves before they close forever. Chutes that teleport Norbs elsewhere along with buttons and other typical puzzle based tropes further add to the challenge. The key behind Pinch 2 SE‘s success is that it never overwhelms the player. New elements are introduced gradually, ensuring that the learning curve is consistently smooth and welcoming.

For completionists, each level is gauged according to how quickly and accurately it has been completed, as well as if all the extra stars have been collected. Similar to the ‘three star’ method used by so many other puzzle games, it goes some way to extending this already fairly lengthy title. 100 levels should keep the gray matter ticking along for a while to come.

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