Amazing Alex ($0.99) by Rovio Entertainment Ltd is the company’s first game from that doesn’t involve some angry birds and green pigs. This time, you are Alex, who is full of imagination and can turn regular toys into one puzzling adventure.
While I'm not the biggest fan of Angry Birds, I am actually turning into quite a fan of Amazing Alex. It features fresh new physics gameplay from Rovio, though it is not an original concept, and it can be quite challenging. I have been playing it since it was released last night and have found the game quite hard to put down.
In Amazing Alex, there are four different locations for you to play in, with 100 levels total to go through. In each one, you must solve the Rube Goldberg contraption that is set up. You will have to clear the current level in order to advance further. At the beginning of each level, the game will show you what your objective is. Each level will have a different objective, but it will be something like getting all of the balls into a basket (or area), knocking over a bunch of books, or popping some balloons.
The controls for the game couldn’t be easier. In the bottom corner, it will feature your “toolbox.” These are the available items that you have to use at your disposal. To use them, simply drag them out on the screen and place it where you would like. If the dashed circle around it is in blue, then you are able to place it there — if it’s red, you’ll have to try again. Once an item is in place, you can rotate it to better suit the puzzle. Drag it back to the toolbox if you decide to not use it. To see if you solved it correctly, tap on the “Play” button to see everything go to work. If it doesn’t get solved, just tap on the button once more to try again.
The magic behind Amazing Alex is the fact that there can actually be multiple solutions. So you aren’t required to use up all the tools, though it won’t get you more points. “No points?,” you are probably asking. That’s right — no points. Instead, the game is based on the stars you collect. In each level, there are three stars scattered around. Your goal is to collect them while meeting the objective for the level. For a perfect “score,” you will need to get all three stars.
While this may not be very competitive, Rovio did implement a way to share your solutions to puzzles with other Game Center friends. This is great, as you can see how great (or not) your solution was compared to others.
If your’e the creative type, then you will get a kick out of the level editor in Amazing Alex. With it, users can use 35 interactive objects to design their own Rube Goldberg device and choose what elements get taken out and placed in the toolbox. Once you’re done with your level, you can share it with a friend or even upload it to Rovio’s servers for other players to download and solve.
I was having some Game Center issues last night, where it would not log me in, even after repeated attempts. Fortunately, there was an update issued today that fixes this problem. When the game is updated, players should no longer be experiencing the Game Center login error.
Rovio really did not disappoint with the graphics here. They are beautiful, crisp, and look stunning on Retina iDevices. The music and sound effects are fun and charming, adding the icing to the cake. Amazing Alex is definitely another hit in Rovio’s collection.
Like the Angry Birds games, Rovio promises to update Amazing Alex regularly with new content. This alone makes the game worth it, because you should know by now that Rovio is actually pretty good at keeping their games up-to-date, unlike other developers.
The only thing I’m annoyed with in Amazing Alex are the ads for Angry Birds that show up when you pause a game and access the in-game menu. Yes, we know you guys at Rovio made Angry Birds, and most people probably already have the games — do you really need to keep advertising them?
Amazing Alex is indeed amazing, and should appeal to any puzzle fan or anyone that likes games that make you think. Get ready to spend hours on your iPhone or iPad with this one.