Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPod touch 4
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Pinch Peeps is a game from Everplay Interactive, who helped release the recent action-RPG Spellsword. Pinch Peeps is not an arena-based action-RPG game. In fact, it's more of a kid-friendly gesture-based game in the vein of Fruit Ninja.
The goal is to pinch together the cute peeps by doing pinch gestures to drag or toss them together. They must be pinched rather quickly, or they disappear and the player's multiplier resets and health is lost in modes where there's health. Each consecutive pinch raises the multiplier, and finding ways to keep in rhythm with pinches is key to success.
The core mechanic is actually really fun to play around with, simple as the game may be. The two modes present different challenges: endless is about surviving the new barriers that pop in the center, and learning how to pinch around them is important. The controls are very accurate, recognizing which peep is being pinched even with multiple peeps on screen. The game interestingly plays in landscape mode on iPad, but portrait mode on iPhone/iPod touch, which is a much better fit for the game. It appears as if obstacles are optimized for each screen size.
The endless mode is great for high score chases (and Game Center leaderboards are there for competing against friends and the world), but the timed mode has its own longevity as well. It's about trying to perfect one's performance in a minute's time, and it's a great way to also develop skill at the game. Oh, and the "Night Owl" achievement for playing from 2am-5am was practically made for me.
The mechanic is extremely simple, and it was very easy for me, an experienced gamer, to master after a few minutes. Well, except for the fact that I kept accidentally pinching the peeps past each other! I had some of the highest scores among international launch-day players shortly after I started playing.
Pinch Peeps is a game with a fun core mechanic, and one that kids and adults looking for a simple distraction might just get some enjoyment out of.