by Staff Writer
December 23, 2009
UpdatePlushed has received its first update which fixes many of the problems with the first version. The biggest thing is that the game now saves your most recent checkpoint progress on exit which is absolutely essential for a portable game. Blacksmith games also fixed the gameplay, improving on the previous one touch death. Now you have three lives, and the bunny also jumps higher. These are great additions improving the gameplay tremendously. On top of that OpenFeint is now included with online high scores for each of the nine levels, plus the three mini games, and there are 17 achievements. A new character is included, flying fish winner from Appvent Calendar Contest. Plus when you replay a level you only collect the ladybugs you didn't get the first time around. The update is a game changer that gives new reason to pick it up. It's much funner, and one of the few traditional platform experiences. Plushed is now a should buy with the 1.1 update fixing most of the problems in "The Bad" section below.
OverviewPlushed has entered the App Store, and it’s time for the full review. Our sneak peek gave the story, so to summarize you play a plushed bunny who was transported into a fairy tale with his little girl. Now it’s up to the reluctant bunny knight to save the little girl/princess. Plushed is a traditional platformer, plus it has deluxe hand drawn visuals, and a developed story. How does this game compare to the stiff platformer competition? Let’s find out.
FeaturesNine deluxe levels are included with a boss battle every three levels making three in total. Every level features a different cast of characters with 20 overall, each with their own funny personality. Three unlockable mini games are also included. The main controls provide left and right virtual buttons, and tap anywhere to jump. You can switch to tilt for movement. In the levels, a few instances will arise needing you to use iPhone specific techniques like shaking, and dragging items.
The GoodPlushed has quite a few things going for it, beginning with the storyline. A wonderful twisted fairy tale, and you’ll want to make it all the way through. The gameplay itself is distinct, and engaging. Every jump and step forward needs to be taken carefully. Puzzle elements are also thrown in order to make it through certain patches. What's really nice is that every level requires you to interact with the characters in it to succeed. Sometimes you need pizza or lollipops, or even pizza perfume to move different characters around for jumping ability or to unlock switches. The visuals are really well done, and all hand-drawn. The backgrounds could pass as artwork, and the character design is intricately well done. A great mix between the wonderful fairy tale world and a dark macabre style. The included soundtrack is deluxe, and nice to listen to. The sound effects though are annoying with the eepp of every jump, and squeal of every death. All of the production values contribute to immerse you in the world of Plushed. You care about this Plushed bunny, and want to help it succeed. The controls work well, and it’s nice to throw in the little shake, and drag maneuvers. Every level lasts awhile, but there isn’t any reason to play a level again, as the gold ladybugs don’t get you any kind of achievement.
The BadThe main problem with this game is that there is no save system. For a platformer with deluxe levels, a save system is mandatory. If you need to exit for whatever reason you’ll be playing the entire level over, that’s a deal breaker. Another problem is that there is a one touch die mechanic. If you touch any enemy, you then have to go back to the checkpoint, which are rather sporadic. You end up playing the same parts over and over, with the tiniest of mistakes. Despite having the one touch die mechanic, there is no penalty for dying. You go back to the checkpoint, but really it’s no big deal when you die, sometime I died just to get out of a situation where I was stuck. No lives, no restarting of the whole level, allowing you to die a million times, if you desire. Also the jumping mechanic isn’t the best, requiring pin point accuracy of tapping jump to make it across some platforms or over enemies. The game is relatively easy for a platformer, and is only difficult because of the jumping and one touch dying. The game has the golden ladybugs to pick-up, but that’s the only collectible in the levels. Levels aren’t timed, or score based, or anything to want you to replay them as there is no reward for collecting all of the golden ladybugs anyway. If you can figure out the system it doesn’t take long to get through, and there isn’t much of a challenge. If you want a platfomrer there are many better choices, it’s not to say this game is bad, there are just better games available. You could pick-up Rolando 2, Soosiz, Spider: SOBM, Dizzy Bee 2, Spy Bot Chronicles, Toy Bot Diaries, Blimp, Castle of Magic, Bounce On, Gomi, Toki Tori, Hi, How Are You, and Sway before even considering Plushed.
The VerdictPlushed is a good platformer with an amazing story and production values. A distinct style with deluxe levels and character interactions as well as puzzle elements requiring manipulation within levels. The game isn't without it's problems most notably lacking a save system despite having long levels. The one touch die and jumping mechanic are frustrating which reduces the fun. With such stiff competition in the platformer category, it’s just worth it for $1.99. Check out the competition below for some great platformer choices.
ROLANDO 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid
Spy Bot Chronicles
IUGO Mobile Entertainment Inc.
Blimp - The Flying Adventures
Castle Of Magic