Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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Ever played with a rotary phone? Just stuck a finger in the dialing mechanism and turned it 'round and 'round? Granted, anyone born after 1990 has probably never set eyes on a rotary phone, let alone touched one, but rest assured there's a primitive joy in spinning 'round and 'round (like a record, baby).
Twisty Hollow from Arkadium seizes on the fun of spinning. It's a unique puzzle game with a weird premise and engaging graphics.
The town of Twisty Hollow has been contorted by odd ordinances passed down by the burg's self-appointed mayor. Simple tasks are suddenly herculean thanks to these mix-ups. How is a firewoman supposed to slaughter a pig? More importantly, how is she supposed to slaughter a pig using a fishing pole?
It's the player's job to restore order from nonsense. Each level of Twisty Hollow takes place on a multi-tiered wheel, and on each layer there's a person, a tool, and an object. Matching up the butcher with a knife and a pig makes bacon, which can then be given to a demanding customer. Matching up a fisherwoman with a fishing pole and a worm makes a fish, which can likewise be given to a customer.
In time, challenges become more complex. Sometimes the wheel layers move on their own, forcing players to make matches more quickly. Sometimes a single customer demand requires multiple steps to satisfy. If a customer wants sushi, the fisherwoman must catch a fish, and then the chef must line-up said fish with a knife to make the delicacy.
Twisty Hollow gets pretty frantic in later levels, but most of the time it manages to show players some good fun. The action certainly gets chaotic at points, and to be honest all the spinning around might make sensitive players a bit dizzy, but the game's sense of humor is worth sticking around for - particularly the letters the self-appointed mayor sends out after some levels. And as a lifelong resident of Toronto, I can relate to a narrative about a mayor gone completely bonkers.