Developer: Chillingo LTD
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Tic wheels. Tic wheels about quickly. Unfortunately, the titular Tin Man, Tic, finds himself in an alternate dimension in a quest for battery packs, hovatrons, and puzzle navigating. While ostensibly in the runner genre, Tin Man Can is much more focused on accurate handling and navigating of the levels.

To start, Tic automatically runs, as is inherent to the genre, and tapping causes him to hover. Tic only has so much fuel before everything sputters out and a trip is booked to the chasms below. Hovatrons, which are these molecular things wrapped in sciencey-rings, allow this fuel to be replenished, as does landing for a bit and going on ground. There are more bits that are slowly introduced, such as arrows that push Tic in a general direction (which can be both useful and call for more trips into endless chasms that end that particular run), trees that have hollow bits that must be navigated through successfully, and later tools that give more navigation power.

In fact, the last two pieces are what make the game much more about precise platforming than about just speed and running to the end in a neverending hallway just to see how far one gets. Being in an enclosed system, and having the levels more acutely designed means it often feels like the player is being encouraged to spend time with the level, rather than just rushing through it. Learn its layout, make sure the hover fuel isn’t out by the time an obstacle is reached, etc.

Replaying also yields more of the game’s currency: hovatrons again. These can be used in the Hover Shop to aesthetically change Tic however may be desired, with either the wheels or exhaust taking on news skins and animations. More interesting perhaps is that cheats are also available for purchase (at a heftier price). While using cheats, certain rewards are not earned at the end of levels, but it does allow progression through the game’s five worlds (consisting of fifteen stages).

A gorgeously animated and designed world, guiding Tic through these adventures was relatively easy and ramped up in difficulty toward the end of the first world. This is when the precision of platforming became most apparent, which is the largest take away about this experience for me. Which means that if the general principles of a runner (easy movement with guided hand) mixed with precision platforming are something that appeals, this is a winner.


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