Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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It’s impossible to look at Save Yammi and not immediately think of Cut the Rope. Both star sugar-addicted little creatures and use rope to collect stars and feed the cute beasts their goodies.
But, before dismissing Save Yammi as a clone, stop. It’s not. It’s derivative to be sure - both in both style and premise - but the gameplay and physics mechanics are entirely different and equally challenging in a novel way.
In Save Yammi, players are tasked with feeding the om-nom look-alike cookies. To get them into this monster-octopus' fanged maw, players have a finite amount of rope, indicated on a spool at the top of the screen, that they can use to guide the cookie first through three yellow stars, and then into Yammi himself.
Lines are drawn with the swipe of a finger and players can use one or several ropes to lead the cookie on it’s desired path. Older ropes vanish over time or can be removed by shaking the devices to let the cookie drop. Players can use the accelerometer as well to help propel the cookie around the board.
Did I mention this game is tricky? The rope reacts like real string – tension plays a role along with gravity. Use too little rope and the line sags, too much and the cookie doesn’t roll. But, the gyroscope come in handy for precisely these situations.
Those yellow stars are not optional either. Yammi won’t open up unless the cookie has rolled through them - adding another distinctive element to the game. Each level also has a pair of smaller orange stars, which are point boosts, but those can be ignored if necessary.
As one would expect, as the game progresses obstacles come into play like thunderclouds that melt cookies or platforms that move and block access. There are also aids like bubbles to force gravity’s hand and portals to move the cookie to unlikely spots. New elements are introduced gradually in the 100 included levels set across several US states so the learning curve is never too steep. Save Yammi is Game Center for leaderboards achievements too.
The game is limited to ropes only on the early levels. Soon the game takes on an almost Rube Goldberg feel as contraptions including paddles, scissors, gears and more come into play.
When judged on its own merits, Save Yammi is a creative puzzler with cute graphics, reliable physics and charm. It offers something a little different into the iOS puzzle game world, which is welcome, especially for those of us who have been cutting ropes for a long time and want a fresh challenge in a friendly and familiar form.