Azarashi by Studio Pixel icon

Azarashi ($0.99) by Studio Pixel is a game of reflexes. How quickly can you react?

There isn’t a lot to this game, but I found it charming and actually pretty addictive. It’s also from Studio Pixel. I mean, really? Do you need more reason than that? In case you are unfamiliar with who these guys are, just know that they developed the awesome platform-adventure game, Cave Story.

Azarashi by Studio Pixel screenshot

I actually picked up Cave Story earlier this year, and despite being a bit frustrated at times, it really brought me back to the Super Nintendo days. When I first heard that they were releasing a new iPhone game, I had to give it a try (and I’m very glad I did!).

In Azarashi, the gameplay is extremely simple. There are three seal keychains that are hanging from the top of the screen. Eventually, the string will break and the seal will fall. Just tap on the keychain before it falls off the screen to pin it to the “wall” with a dart. However, don’t tap on it too early! You’ll end up pinning its head to the wall and it will bleed (very cartoony blood, though) with its tongue sticking out at you.

Each game will consist of three rounds. At the beginning of the round, you will also see a number on each keychain (200). This number will decrease rapidly as the keychain falls – it’s in your best interest to get it pinned to the wall as soon as possible (falling off or pinning too early will result in a score of zero for that keychain).

Once the three keychains are pinned or fall off, that round is over and you get a score. With each round, the keychains will fall even faster, so the difficulty is increased. You can redo a round by tapping on the button in the top left corner.

Azarashi by Studio Pixel screenshot

The end of the game is after three rounds, and you get to see your total score. Depending on how well you did, you get awarded a collectible “trophy,” which ranges from cans of cat food to feline statues (bronze, silver, gold, etc). These are on display at the title screen, and you see a quantity count of how man you’ve earned.

As you play, you can unlock various seal keychains. I managed to unlock that cool one with the hipster glasses and navy blue tie (it’s a business seal). I’m not sure of the requirements of unlocking different keychains, but I’ll just keep playing to find out.

I wish that there was Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements though, since it is currently lacking that (or even OpenFeint). Maybe it will be added at some point in the future.

Despite this, I am in love with Azarashi. The graphics are well done for the pixelated look, and the music is catchy. I have become addicted to this perfect blend of reflexes and cuteness.

I highly recommend picking this up – it’s a dollar well spent.