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Our Review by Will on August 14th, 2009
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: CREATIVE GENIUS
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Gomi, a game in which you rid the world of pollution by rolling around and eating it, is a highly creative game with a bevy of content. Such a great value is rarely seen on the App Store.

Developer: Kevin Calderone
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

From the creator of Trace, Kevin Calderone, comes a new game, Gomi, that like Trace, is an incredibly original, well-designed game. With a shocking amount of content and great gameplay, Gomi is not to be missed.

In Gomi, you play as, well, a Gomi, a strange blob-like creature whose mission it is to clean up the world from pollution. Your job is to devour pollution, Katamari-style, and doing so causes you to spread trees and flowers. Sounds easy, right - just roll over objects to devour them. Well, there's a catch - you can only start with very small objects, and you have to work your way up to things like shopping malls. Another very neat twist to the game is that each individual platform has its own gravity field, creating some very twisty-turny gameplay. Some might complain at the relatively slow pacing of the game - Gomi rolls rather slowly, but this game wouldn't really work as a fast-paced one, and thus the slow pace is perfectly appropriate.

The amount of content in Gomi is astounding. To start, there are over 140 stages, each lasting at least three minutes, spread across eight worlds. The normal stages involve rolling, jumping, and launching from geysers that shoot you up in the air to clean up the planet, and there are several different level formats, such as "big eat" where you have to devour some very large objects, a race in which you must make it to various points in the level as quickly as possible, "Collect 100" where you must eat 100 specified objects, and much more. The different formats for levels definitely really help to add variety. The normal levels are really just high score affairs - you can't really lose - and luckily they are accordingly packed with achievements and integrated with global leader boards. To help you through the normal levels, there are special abilities, and each is unlocked after completing a world. These include Super Jump, Laser, and Geyser (the ability to create geysers). By far the best part of Gomi is the boss battles, of which there are eight in total, one for every world. In contrast to normal levels, boss battles are more action packed (you have lives and you can die) but also contain brilliant puzzle elements. You are not told expressly what to do other than to use a specific special ability, and you have to come up with creative solutions. The boss battles are very challenging and sometimes frustrating (I had to try about 25 times to beat the 6th world boss) but equally rewarding.

Gomi also comes with a couple of nice extras. First, you can customize your Gomi. Completing levels gives you access to various shapes and colors for your Gomi. Second, there are mini-games. These games have no place in the main game and no relevancy other than that they use the Gomi characters. There are eight in total including a fall-down game, a match-3, and a chain-reaction game, though you start out with only three and have to unlock the rest by playing through the main game. Some of them are pretty fun, and all are about the quality of your average App Store 99 cent casual game.

Controls are simple and intuitive. Tilting your device rolls Gomi, and tapping anywhere on the screen causes Gomi to jump. Tapping on Gomi himself activates his special ability, and a few of the abilities require a swiping mechanic. All of the controls are responsive, and there is even a sensitivity adjustment option, but the swiping was occasionally too inaccurate for my tastes.

The graphics of Gomi don't look very good in screenshots, but this is a case of the game looking much better in animation. The pollution is intentionally illustrated crudely, which works well, and everything else is done in a delightfully cheery and bright style. The music is simply top-notch, with a large variety of tracks and high relevancy.

Gomi is a very fun game with original gameplay and a huge amount of content, making it an incredible value for its price on the App Store. Trace was a neat game, but Kevin Calderone has taken it one step further with Gomi, making a creative masterpiece.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Gomi screenshot 1 Gomi screenshot 2 Gomi screenshot 3 Gomi screenshot 4 Gomi screenshot 5
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