Sphoxie by Olivier Archer icon

Sphoxie ($1.99) by Olivier Archer is a cute 3-D platformer game that will probably have you going “D’aww” quite often. If you don’t like cute things, then this game may not suit you.

So what’s a Sphoxie? You have this cute little spiked ball creature who suddenly finds these mysterious yellow cubes after an explosion of sorts. Of course, what does a cute little creature do? Eat the cubes! He finds them to be quite yummy. But then he is sucked into a portal, which takes him into a peculiar cube world. So what’s the goal? To get our spiky blue ball friend back home, while also feeding him those delicious yellow cubes.

Sphoxie by Olivier Archer screenshot

The first thing that caught my attention were the graphics, which mix 3-D with the pixelated look. The game is powered by the Unreal Engine, so the 3-D is actually done very well. Everything from our spiky friend to the colorful and vibrant environments, to the cubed enemies, will look great on your Retina iDevices. The music (composed by Anitek) is also a treat, and really adds to the overall charm of the game. The most impressive part? The game was made entirely by one person.

Sphoxie features 24 levels across three environments, which you can earn up to six stars on each, and you can only move on to the next after clearing the previous stage. You can get an idea of what each level is like just from the name. In each, you will have to collect all of the small yellow cubes, as well as bigger, red cubes. You will encounter many obstacles in your path, including strange cubes that are alive and want to try and eat up our little friend, and even boss battles. They will latch on to you and slow you down, so be careful. Levels will be timed, with the countdown in the top right corner. To earn more stars, finish the level quickly. If you fall off, you lose 60 seconds for each occurrence, so watch out. You can view the map of the level by pausing the game.

Sphoxie by Olivier Archer screenshot

To move around you only have to swipe your finger on the screen to go in that direction. Even though I prefer to play games using both hands, this simple control scheme makes the game entirely possible to play with one hand. You can even customize your character and go in the Sketch Mode.

Sphoxie features Game Center support for leaderboards, if you want to get a bit competitive. There are also 11 achievements to obtain, so it should keep you coming back for more for a while.

I’m finding Sphoxie to be quite challenging, but in a good way. It makes you think before jumping off a platform, and you have to think of ways to avoid being hugged to your doom. If 3-D platformers are your thing, then you don’t want to miss Sphoxie. Get it in the App Store for $1.99 for your iPhone and iPad.