All About Symbian score 90%.
This is the latest addition to our game reviews database, but it's a much loved game on other mobile platforms. So much so that it caused equal measures of surprise and joy from Symbian owners when it was released.
When the game is launched for the first time, a short animation sets the scene of the game. As you answer a knock on your door, you find a box with a cute set of eyes peering out at you. Written on the box is just one instruction, “Feed with Candy”. You’d have to have a heart of stone to refuse.
It turns out that the creature you have to feed is a little green monster called Om Nom, who is so hungry that it isn’t safe to feed him by hand. Instead, you have to swing candy into his cavernously waiting mouth on the end of a rope.
Cut the Rope isn’t just about doing tricks with more and more gadgets though. Many levels require you to use timing and momentum to complete the level. To progress from a level, all you have to do is get the candy into Om Nom’s mouth, but the trick is to collect stars by passing the candy over them. The more you collect, the faster you unlock higher levels.
All About Symbian score 84%.
This die based game is a version of the classic tabletop Yahtzee game. Just like a game of cards, you have to pick the most valuable combinations. Steve reviewed it last year and had this to say ...
Yacht (Yahtzee) is one of those games with almost infinite replay value, something that ZingMagic specialises in (the day it does a level-based platform shooter is the day I keel over in surprise!), and it's as immersive here as ever - there's a genuine mental challenge involved in maximising your chances, despite the obviously significant luck factor in terms of which dice get rolled.
The addition of in-game advertising in order to make Yacht free is welcome as it will increase download numbers massively. And if only one in ten of those downloaders then get fed up with the adverts (which appear every dozen or so dice rolls) and buy the full game then I suspect that ZingMagic will consider the experiment a success. Most of ZingMagic's other game titles are receiving the same ad-supported 'Free' treatment, so watch out for them in the Nokia Store.
All About Symbian score 69%
This is a futuristic take on the old Sokoban genre and takes its inspiration from the Wall-E movie. You control a garbage collecting robot who has to maneuver radioactive waste onto disposal pads. You'll need to plan several moves in advance to make sure you don't get stuck.
I found this type of puzzle genuinely challenging, and your success will depend on how many moves ahead you can store in your mind. This is why I don’t think 32 levels is particularly limiting. It will take a while to complete all of them, and then there is the ongoing challenge of bettering your high/low-scores.
It has to be said that the graphics in this game are rather basic. However, this can be forgiven as the main robotic character is incredibly cute – at least to a nerd like me. Robo-E is somewhat orientation-agnostic. As you rotate your phone, Robo-E just adjusts his own orientation and the rest of the user interface is unchanged.
All About Symbian score 68%
This is an Angry Birds inspired take on the Frozen Bubble / Bubble Shooter genre. Apart from the aesthetics, the unique selling point is that gameplay has been tailored for touchscreens rather than adapting to keypad input - rather than setting the direction to fire your birds in, you just tap your target. It's an adjustment which made the gameplay much smoother than earlier games in this genre.
At the top of the screen you have a few rows of hexagonally arranged coloured birds, which builds over time, creeping downward. At the bottom of the screen you have a nest, from which there’s always one of your birds ready to launch itself skyward. You can also see the colour of the next bird along.
As with similar games, getting at least three like-coloured birds together makes them disappear, taking with them any other different coloured birds not neighbouring anything else. The real trick in this game to make fast progress, and hopefully bonus points, is to link up large groups of birds and to eliminate as many in one shot as you can.
Overall, Bubble Birds is a pleasant time killer. It’s addictive and engaging, but not so frantic that it gets your adrenaline pumping. As games go, it’s limited, but does what it does well.
All About Symbian score 65%
Anyone who has enjoyed playing Tetris or Columns should look at Dragon's Lore. This game takes the ideas of those games (similar to Bubble Birds, above), but takes it from two dimensions to three dimensions. Coloured cubes populate the game space which you will slide more blocks over. You have to remove blocks by grouping like colours together before you run out of space. Living in the third dimension brings the challenge of thinking about the areas you can't quite see because of the fixed perspective. The ancient Chinese aesthetics have little to do with the gameplay mechanics, but give the game an attractive look.
To make things more interesting, there are a range of special blocks with which to mix up the gameplay. Wedge shaped blocks will slide underneath the first block they hit, raising it up. Cracked blocks can be smashed through. Similarly, blocks dropped by having the block beneath them removed can become cracked too. Spherical ‘blocks’ (yes, I know) will colour all blocks adjacent to where they hit and thus make them vanish. Fireballs will destroy everything adjacent, including those immovable stone blocks. All of these allow for you to vary your tactics and make you think differently about the game. Lastly, if an ordinary block hits a single block, it will push it along one unit on the grid.
David Gilson, 15th March 2012.