An asteroid crash lands on Earth, and there is a cell on board that is extremely aggressive, and growing at a rapid rate. The asteroid and cell are stored in a submarine base, and after a month, the cell has grown quite considerably, and is trying to break out of the base. You control the cell trying to break out of the base while avoiding gunmen, lasers, and figuring out the labyrinth type base layout.
Perfect Cell provides action and infiltration based gameplay with multi-touch gestures to destroy everything in your way. The game includes 35 levels across five different areas, and Game Center is included for online high scores and achievements. The game is also universal for all iOS devices.
The game is like nothing else you’ve played on any iOS device as you play as the cell, hovering about the base, fitting through corridors, unlocking doors, and smashing enemies. You move the cell by touching and dragging in the direction you want it to move, and then swipe to dash through enemies. In each level there are areas of action with dashing through enemies, and areas of puzzles where you need to move through mazes, and open doors in the right order.
There are lasers to avoid, and the game offers a great balance of action and puzzle elements. You can choose to just blast through enemies, or go in a more subtle approach to sneak up on them, or avoid them all together. Your cell has multiple special abilities with the previously mentioned dash, but also can split itself once you find other cells, can regenerate, and can go invisible when it ‘s not moving.
The greatest power though is the draw dash where you tap and hold the cell, and then draw its path where it cuts through enemies. A much more powerful move than a simple dash, which can handle tougher enemies, and cuts them into pieces in the process. Every single level offers a rather complex layout that is different each, and every time so you never know what to expect next.
In certain levels there are prisms to collect which are off the main path, and you’ll need to destroy a wall to open a new path to them. It’s not always obvious, and you have to find the degradable wall to create the fork with many instances throughout the game. Game Center offers up replayability with leaderboards and achievements, and you can replay levels to go back for prisms or to try to beat it without killing anyone for a bonus.
The game progresses like a 2D side scroller, but has 3D art style with background and foreground elements. There are great lighting and physics effects as you watch the cell move, and interact with enemies. There is also a quality soundtrack to fit the Sci-Fi infiltration theme very well.
The control method to just move about requires your finger to be on screen often, and can block a portion of the action. Your finger is constantly moving, and takes up different portions of the screen, and you can miss an enemy, laser, or hidden pathway. The controls also don’t allow for precision which is most apparent when you’re trying to unlock a door which requires the cell to be over the switch, and it’s tough to stop right on the switch.
With 35 levels the game can go by relatively quickly, but it takes a lot longer than you would think on the surface. The levels are pretty complex, and there is nice replay incentive. Although the content to price ratio may be off a bit.
Perfect Cell is a unique experience that offers a great balance of a couple genres to make an engaging experience. The game has a great design, and the level layouts offer complexity and challenge as well as variability and replayability. The controls are a bit of a problem, but are easy enough to get used to, and there isn’t the most content for the the price point.
With that said, Perfect Cell is worth it for $5.99 for such an enjoyable overall gaming experience.