Developer: Przemyslaw Perkowski
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

At the very beginning, users receive a short set of instructions and then are plunged right into the world of Ratventure HD, where their task is to build and guide a couple of hungry rats (though I prefer to think of them as mice) across a variety of perilous environments.

IMG_0343Players can tap and drag to spring up pyramid shapes starting from any of the blocks available in each scene. Once they think they’ve built a safe enough passage, they tap on the mice icon to control them. One thing I like about this is that unlike other similar games where all one can do is press the play button and see if the construction worked, in Ratventure HD players can actually decide how far their mice will travel along the bridge. This creates the possibility of taking one’s characters through a half-finished bridge, then building the rest once the protagonists reach a more desirable position.

The real-time physics in Ratventure HD work as one would expect – with the weight of each rat adding to the wooden surface which can altogether break an unstable or badly built bridge. I can’t say that the sound effects in the game are particularly impressive, but they do sound good enough to not be annoying. The Artwork and animations are also well done. All 72 levels are nicely animated, with brightly colored environments and movable objects that look like they belong in the scene and create an enjoyable, immersive gameplay experience.

screen568x568 (1)All that sounds good, but in the end Ratventure HD isn’t all rainbows and butterflies; it does have some defects as well. For instance, it sometimes feels like it lacks a bit in detail. In each world there’s nothing to differentiate the locked levels from the available ones. The instructions also feel a little shallow. Players will have to figure out on their own that if the wooden blocks aren’t brought all the way over to the rats feet (even if the blocks are connected to a safe, grassy platform), they won’t climb aboard. Similarly, players might end up seeing just one of the mice climb up instead of both, even though the other is extremely close to the first. But those are small issues. My biggest problem with Ratventure HD is that when I tap and drag to create a pyramid, the wooden blocks I’m outlining appear behind my thumb. That often makes it difficult to see the color that determines if I can place a block there or not.

Ultimately, Ratventure HD is a fun puzzler that’s good for players looking for a challenge. And if making the purchase decision still seems difficult, a free version is available to help players make that choice with more confidence.


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