Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eager Beaver [Chillingo] - $0.99

Chillingo is quite possibly one of the most well-known publishers of iOS games, and for a very good reason. They’re constantly releasing high-quality, polished titles. Last week, along with Disco Kitten, they released Eager Beaver, developed by Gamagio, a puzzle title which has you helping a beaver build dams. 

When I first saw the trailer for Eager Beaver, I didn’t think I’d like the game too much, but after completing the first world (10 levels), I was hooked. The goal of each level is to use rocks to build up a barrier which blocks off the water from reaching the right side of the screen. Using fewer blocks results in a higher score. This gets pretty challenging, even towards the beginning of the game, once teeter-totters, mines, the water current, floating wooden barrels, and fish which can knock over your barrier, and disrupt where blocks land are introduced to the gameplay. 
There is no time limit, which is nice, and lets you completely focus on how you want to build up your rock dam. The controls are also simple and easy to use. Each rock is automatically picked up with a crane at the top of the screen, and then you’re able to touch down on the screen, and drag the crane to where you want it, while picking your finger up from the screen releases the rock. Adding to the difficulty, however, as the crane is holding the rock, the rock spins clockwise, so you’ll need to make sure that you let go at just the right time so that you can match rocks together perfectly. 

Each of the 5 different worlds has 10 levels, and each of the levels has an available 3 star ranking. Though to reach worlds, you do not need to complete all of the previous levels, you just need to get a certain amount of stars, which is great for a puzzle game like this, as it’s never fun getting stuck on just one level. To get 3 stars, you’ll need to build the dam with a certain number of rocks, leaving the rest of the rocks un-used. This does add to the challenge, as well as replay value, especially if you’re driven by high-scores or achievements. GameCenter contains a leaderboard for your total score, and 18 hard to snag achievements, giving players plenty to try and complete even after finishing the last level. 

Graphically, Eager Beaver is well done with very nice and vibrant environments, each with their own items, hazards and plenty of variety in the atmospheres. Physics, animations, and inertia are all very well done, and highly polished. Even the movement of the water and the fish’s underwater breathing is animated, and these little touches add a ton to the all around feeling of the game. 

Priced at $0.99, being Universal, and having loads of fantastic gameplay+replay value, it’s definitely a title that stands out within the physics puzzler genre. Seeing more levels, or even another gameplay mode would make it an outstanding title, but as it is now, it’s one of the better puzzler titles I’ve played in a while, and I’d certainly love to see more from Gamagio in the future. 


LOVE THIS GAME! I have bought a lot of puzzlers lately, and this one is my number one. It looks to be a simple geometry game, but it really isn't. It has a TON of charm to it, an engaging story, and plenty of challenge without too much to turn you away. I just get gitty when I think that we only spent .99 cents on this!
Highly recommended

AppShack does an excellent job at reviewing the good ones!

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