Developer: Martin Gimpl
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

There’s certainly plenty of charm to Zip. It’s just unfortunate that the mechanics behind such charm fails to enthral for any great length of time, even despite the gradual introduction of new challenges.

Players control Zip, a courageous young space cadet who finds himself trapped in a remote area of the galaxy with no fuel to get him home. He must fly his way around the galaxy in order to collect up fuel crystals, bouncing from checkpoint to checkpoint and return home once more. It’s a familiar yet attractive idea and, at first, Zip proves to be quite fun.

Controls are simple with players tapping on either side of the screen with a thumb in order to move around each planet in a 360 degree manner, with tapping both thumbs together initiating a boost move that transports Zip to a planet directly ahead of him. He can’t manoeuvre in any way once in flight so lining him perfectly is vital, so that he doesn’t go out into never ending space. Awkwardly, players can’t go straight into a jump from moving with a slight delay required to initiate the movement. Something that can make all the difference in trickier stages of the game.

Zip gradually offers more challenges than simply lining up moving between planets, with enemies and asteroids. Some enemies can bounce between planets making it tricky to avoid them, especially when on an ice based planet that causes Zip to stumble. There’s a real trial and error feeling to things as, ultimately, there’s no real punishment to being defeated. Instead, players go back to an earlier checkpoint and try to plan their route more efficiently. Holding down two fingers to the screen zooms out the level so it’s possible to see what route to take, as well as the ever helpful arrow that always demonstrates where to go next.

The problem is, while tough, it just isn’t overly interesting after a time. The stop/start nature of the controls means it doesn’t feel very involving, but also, it’s just not that gripping. Even the prospect of boss battles of a sort, fail to entice. It’s a real shame as Zip is charming and has a healthy dose of humor, too, but its mechanics are lacking. It all feels a little too functional at times to truly appeal.

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