Saturday, December 10, 2011

Swingworm - 2.99 (10tons Ltd.)

10tons Ltd. is definitely not new to the AppStore. Their first iOS release, Rope Raider, showing up in the AppStore on November 4, 2009, was, even then, a prime example of what 10tons could do with the platform. Since then, 15 more releases have followed, each time, gaining more of a following, though it’s fairly safe to say that Sparkle the Game has been their most successful endeavor, it’s very clear that they know exactly what it takes to create a top notch game, appealing to both casual and hardcore gamers. Their latest release, Swingworm, is yet again, another prime example of that.

In the game, you’ll guide a worm named Swingy through an amazing 95 levels by grabbing either the front or back end of the worm, and swinging it from platform to platform, collecting the Rubbaberries that are scattered throughout the stages. Once you’ve collected all of the berries in a level, an elevator will activate, and take you to the next level. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. In order to reach most areas, you’ll need to figure out how to use the momentum of the worm while swinging so that either his head or end will attach to the leaves, which are pretty spread out, and it can sometimes pose a small challenge getting from one to the next. Each of the levels has a possible 3 star ranking, adding quite a bit of replay value to the game. To get a perfect 3 stars, you will need to complete the levels as fast as you can. There is a time limit bar shown in the top left corner, each time it fills up, a star is removed from your ranking. Once you complete the level, you’re shown the total time it took you to complete the level, and what time you’ll need to get the next best star ranking, which is very nice. I really wish all star ranking based on time games did this.
The graphics and animations done for Swingworm are top notch. The game is split in to Episodes, with the first having 10 levels, then Episodes 2-4 having 15, and 5-6 having 20, each Episode has a different environment, which also introduces new obsticles, objects, and hazards you can use, manipulate, or need to avoid. For instance, some levels have ice blocks you’ll need to swing into to break, others will have logs that rotate, which you’ll need to swing around on, gaining momentum to reach other platforms. All of the graphics are done in a cute cartoony way, reminiscent of Joining Hands, with the backgrounds filling in the holes of the levels perfectly, and the story breaks between the episodes, with Swingy talking to Big Bug helping round everything out. The animations for Swingy’s, enemies, and other character’s movement, objects breaking, Swingy attaching to objects, and collecting Rubbaberries is all very well done, allowing for the gameplay to flow very well, and come together in a near perfect harmony. To top it off, the cute and bouncy soundtrack, fitting the game to a ’T’ completes the atmosphere.
With GameCenter leaderboards for total Episode times on each of the 6 Episodes, and 14 achievements, the replayabilty is extremely high, and the drive to better your time is constantly looking you in the face. It’s arguable that Swingworm is 10tons best release since Sparkle the Game, bringing all of their knowledge of what it takes to make a top notch mix of casual and hardcore gameplay fit perfectly into an action puzzler. $2.99 is a great price for this Universal build, especially with the insane replay value, and incredible amount of content. Swingworm ends up being a game that’s extremely easy to recommend for gamers of all ages.


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