Saturday, September 29, 2012

Drag It [Miniclip] - $0.99

One genre that me and my wife wind up playing, while passing our iPod back and forth is slingshot/wire flicking platformers. Games like WireWay, Spoing, Chimpact and Twang The Fox seem to keep us entertained for hours on end. But one of our favorites in the genre, Drag It, by MysPuppy Game Studio, has been redone, and republished by Miniclip, with a new skin, new features and new gameplay elements. With Drag It already having quite a few of it’s own nifty mechanics, I was a little hesitant to see what all this Miniclip version had changed, but I was definitely interested in checking it out. 

Drag It is very similar to games like WireWay and Spoing in that it has you using wire-like platforms to slingshot the character throughout the level while trying to pick up all of the stars before hitting the exit. However, Drag It introduces different mechanics for each different colored platform, for instance; the platforms that you’ll start out with can be pulled back to fling your little character in whatever direction you’d like (other than behind the platform, there’s no shooting backwards here) and as you progress throughout the first set of levels you’ll be exposed to certain platforms that you’ll need to move out of the way, pull down, ect, in order to move on through the levels, as well as others which you’ll need to attach to hooks in order to keep them in place, whole platforms which move as one and platforms which you can go up through from the bottom, and then use to flick your character. Each different platform has it’s own color, so getting use to what does what, and knowing what a specific platform does right when you see it will definitely help you get through the stages quicker, which will effect your score. As you progress throughout the game, you'll encounter more objects that do various things like rotate, send you flying in a specific direction, pinball like objects that bounce you off of them, and more.

Now, this is all pretty much the exact same thing as the previously released Drag It. Even the level designs are the same, along with star and enemy placement. The only difference you’ll really notice is that instead of having the character be a goofy little pinkish red ball with black blob enemies, you’re now a little bird with penguin enemies. There have been some changes to the menus, but aside from that, this new version of Drag It is exactly like the old one. 
One thing that the original was desperately needing was GameCenter support. Thankfully, it’s been added in this Miniclip version, which adds a fairly decent amount of replay value to the game. There are no achievements, but the total score leaderboard for your cumulative score throughout the game is enough to push players to go back and try to collect more stars, not get injured, and better their times. And, as with almost all games that have time’s effecting scores, chances are there’s always going to be the possibility to go back and up your score, even if just by a couple points. 

While we’re on the subject of scoring, the scoring system seems fairly simple, but I haven’t been able to break every little detail down. I know there’s not many of you out there that really care this much about scoring systems, but I know you guys are out there, so I’ve done my best to break it down. Getting all of the stars in each level will, of course, give you a great score, but will not always result in a 3 stars. If you get hurt by running into one of the penguins in a stage, you’ll only get 2 stars no matter how quickly you complete it, or if you collect every star. Getting hurt will also drop your score by about 1,000 points, so it’s very important to try and avoid enemies at all costs, even if it means you’ll miss out on a star. In order to get 3 stars, you’ll need to collect all of the stars in a stage, and not touch an enemy. Time has the least amount of effect on your scores, giving or taking away 36 points for each second. As far as I can tell, stars are worth about 460 points. 

IAP is included in the game, but only if you’d like to unlock all of the levels, which can be done by playing through the game, and for a skip pack, which gives you 5 skips that you can use to skip through levels you’re having a hard time with, and you’ll start the game off with 2 available to you. Basically, the IAP is there if you’d like to support Miniclip by giving them a couple more bucks. 
The graphics are the same as the original, with environmental changes every 10 levels. They’re smooth, and well done, but while polished, they aren’t really anything spectacular. However, it’s not the graphics that really make the game great, it’s the level designs. As you progress through the game, you’ll come across some very interesting stages, and an increased challenge that’s definitely worth experiencing. The way that all of the objects and platforms are put together is just fantastic. 

Priced at $0.99, Drag It is definitely worth picking up, especially if you’re a fan of the flicking platform genre. Unfortunately, Drag It, like the original version, is not Universal, and there is no HD build, meaning that if you’ve got an iPad, you’ll be forced to play in 2X mode. The addition of GameCenter does make it worth picking up, even if you’ve still got the previous version on your device or available to you, as it adds a ton of replay value, and drive to score better or go back and get 3 stars in each level. Miniclip is also great when it comes to updates and fixing issues, and hopefully, like most of their other releases, an HD build will be available in the near future. 

**NOTE: There is no trailer up for the Miniclip version of Drag It, but here is the trailer for the original version, released by MysPuppy.


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