One of the most popular games at GDC was Casey’s Contraptions. We got a personal demo and then saw it featured at every after party. Casey’s Contraptions is a new physics game where you play as Casey, an 8 year old boy, who uses house hold items to build and solve contraptions. You solve problems like opening the cookie jar, mowing the lawn, and other tasks by using items such as slingshots, books, remote control cars, and scissors. It’s a collaborative effort between Noel Llopis and Miguel Friginal, who have been working on it for over five months already.
If you’re a fan of physics puzzles, you will absolutely fall in love with Casey’s Contraptions. There are tons of levels, including the classroom, the backyard, and the kitchen. Every level can simply be completed, or you can go for the three stars scattered around the levels, which is reminiscent of Cut The Rope. Also, unlike Angry Birds or other level-based puzzle games, you won’t be stuck on a particular level because you unlock the next set of levels by completing a majority of the previous levels.
The physics engine is outstanding, with an authentic feel combined with more cartoonish aspects. For example, balloons can lift a bucket, and magnets can sling a pair of scissors across the screen. The entire game runs at 60 frames per second, which just looks phenomenal on the iPad or retina display.
There is no one right way to solve a puzzle, and you can really try anything. Rather than providing only a specific set of items, you’re given way more than what’s needed to complete the puzzle, so you can try anything. The sheer combination of all the items you can use gives nearly infinite solutions. On top of that, there is an absolutely amazing feature that allows you to view your friend’s solutions for any of the puzzles.
The game connects with Game Center so you can see each of your friend’s puzzle with a different solution. This feature really shows how many possibilities there are for each level. Casey’s Contraptions is challenging to say the least, but is plenty of fun. The introduction levels in the classroom give you a good handle to understand how to play the game.
The basic solution for each level is definitely for the casual gamer, while collecting all three stars is for the hardcore gamer. Overall, it’s just fun trying different solutions and tweaking your set up. The game is super smooth, and allows you to restart a level practically instantaneously if you ever need to readjust a faulty contraption.
The iPad version will include a level editor, and the iPhone/iPod Touch version is also set for release. The game is expected in the coming months, and the closest iOS comparison is Isaac Newton’s Gravity. We will keep you physics puzzle fans updated with the latest details on Casey’s Contraptions.