Developer: On5
Price: $0.99 (sale)
Version Reviewed: 42.0

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

IMG_0704Like saving the world? Or maybe you enjoy subjecting your characters to various amusing deaths. Perhaps you like line-drawing games. TipTop is a new game from On5, and if any of the above apply, you’ll probably like it. The graphics are excellent, the levels are well-designed, and the Lemmings-style gameplay is both fun and chaotic.

The storyline centers around your merry band of brave (if stupid) adventurers, including characters like House and Susan Boyle (shh, that’s not official). Though they’re trying to save the world, they need a bit of help; your task is to get as many to the end of each level as possible. Let too many die, and you’ll have to try again. Each level is filled with dangerous obstacles—spikes, toxic pools, swine (flu), various enemies, you name it—and other obstructions. Your heroes will move mindlessly forward until they hit a wall, so to control their movement, you must draw lines. Lines then become part of the landscape—you can make a wall, a bridge, or whatever the situation calls for. However, you’ve got a limited amount of ink, so you must pick your paths with care. The lines also fade with time.

The 20 levels are packed with increasing challenge. Though easy at first, you’ll soon have to think hard about how to avoid each obstacle without wasting your ink; managing all of your heroes as well as the enemies is a tricky thing, and there are multiple solutions to each level. You can replay a completed level any time you wish, which is often necessary if you want to collect all the possible achievements. As for the controls, drawing lines is pretty straightforward, but you do have to be careful; your heroes can’t climb too-steep paths, and sometimes you can inadvertently trap one whilst drawing a line.

TipTop’s plot is linear…a bunch of stupid, well-meaning heroes are on a quest to save the world. But the game itself is incredibly fun to play. The controls are good, the tempo is quick, the artwork is fantastic, and the sense of humor present in the plot just makes it even more fun. You also get Plus+, which always nice. If you’re in the mood for some chaotic hero-management, TipTop is an easy recommendation.

(Also, one quick side note–this first release is entitled “42.0″ instead of the traditional 1.0. Hitchhiker’s Guide references like that are just one example of the humor present here. Now go save the world instead of wondering about the meaning of life…)

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