Furmins HD ($2.99) by Housemarque Inc. is a physics-based object game that involves some incredibly cute and furry creatures called the Furmins. The Furmins are round and fuzzy, but they are without arms and legs, so it is your job to help them get to their goal by creating paths for them.
You may be unfamiliar with Housemarque Inc.’s name as a whole, but they are actually the developers of popular games such as Super Stardust HD, Dead Nation, and Outland. I was quite surprised when I learned of Furmins, since I am actually a fan of Super Stardust HD (an incredibly fun but difficult dual-stick shooter).
There is actually a basic story that goes with the Furmins. They are classified as a happy race of creatures that live peacefully (with furry creatures, what else would you expect?). One day, their large and benevolent King falls asleep and rolls over a river, eventually forming a dam. Without water, the existence of the Furmins is threatened, so these cute and adorable creatures go out on a quest to travel across the land to their King to wake him up. The only problem is that they need your help.
The graphics and music in the game are done extremely well. I found the visuals to be beautiful and magical, drawing me into the game (just like Super Stardust HD). The music is catchy, and a bit ambient. It definitely goes well with the peaceful nature of the Furmins. The sound effects are also cute and add more appeal to the game.
The gameplay has two phases: one where you are moving the objects around to help the Furmins get to the basket (held by a rather odd looking fellow), and then seeing how it plays out based on your object placement. In the rearranging phase, you will see a blue glow around moveable objects – simply drag these to where you want to place it. Once you are satisfied with your placement, just tap on the green “Play” button to see the Furmins move.
Some levels won’t have objects for you to move around and place – these levels may have other elements, such as bumpers and conveyor belts, which will only do something in the second phase. To use these, you just tap on the screen (at the right moment) to activate them.
There are actually plenty of unique elements to help you get the Furmins across safely. From bouncy planks to bumpers, air cannons to blocks, this game has plenty of items that you must utilize strategically. This can be both fun and frustrating (in a good way, because it makes you think).
If your solution doesn’t work, you can tap on the “Refresh” button to start over. Levels can have multiple solutions, so there’s actually some versatility in figuring out the puzzles.
There are candies that you can collect along the way, which will earn stars on the level, depending on how many you collect. The amount of stars will vary on each level (they will have a minimum of three). Stars will be used to unlock more levels and worlds.
There are a total of eight worlds with 12 levels in each. World seven can be unlocked for free with a special code you get by “liking” their Facebook page, and world eight will have bonus levels that will cost you stars to unlock.
In addition to using stars to unlock game progression, you can also use your stars in the Shop, where you can buy stars, the star multiplier (doubles the amount of stars you earn from completing levels), and even wallpaper images.
I was a tad disappointed that there is no Game Center integration for leaderboards (there isn’t a point system) or achievements. I think that since the game doesn’t always follow one set solution for all of the puzzles, there can be some creativity for achievements. It should definitely be something that the developers should look in to in future updates.
While the HD version of Furmins is a universal app, there does not seem to be iCloud support for game saves. This is unfortunate, because if you decide to play on your iPad and then want to pick it up from your iPhone later, you will have to start over (and some levels can be a bit frustrating to get perfectly). Hopefully, this problem can be amended in the future. With iCloud readily available, it should be a staple for any universal game.
Despite these minor flaws, Furmins is a great physics puzzle game that should have a spot on every casual gamer’s iPhone (or iPad) home screen.
I spent a good chunk of time on the game already without realizing how much time has gone by. The cute fur balls will surely hypnotize you into helping them on their quest as well. The graphics are charming and adorable, the music and sound effects are absolutely delightful, and the physics engine is fairly realistic. All of these combine to create a perfect puzzle package for fans of the genre.
Please note that Furmins is only compatible on iPod touch 3rd generation and higher (32GB and 64GB models only), iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, and iPad 2. Furmins HD is for both the iPhone and iPad at $2.99, while Furmins is iPhone-only at $0.99.