Take a small, green alien named Otto, the tilt response of the iPhone and an adventure puzzle with 28 levels to navigate and you get Alien Axis in a nutshell.
Alien Axis requires players to navigate Otto from start to finish while avoiding certain obstacles and interacting with others. It’s fairly simplistic in design and slightly reminiscent of a ball in box puzzle, but with a bit more pizzazz and depth. Though Alien Axis has some room for improvement, overall it has a solid premise.
At the beginning of each level, Otto materializes at the start point and players navigate him to a door, which will transport him to the next level. The first few levels are simple, but then things get more challenging. Otto will respond to a tap of the finger, moving left or right accordingly. You can also tilt the device 90 degrees at a time and the puzzle’s vantage will adjust accordingly. In each level, you simply decide the best way to help Otto reach the door in the best time.
Alien Axis is a very forgiving game in that it allows as many attempts at a level as needed. This is a good thing because while the tilt response is pretty dead-on, the touch response sometimes isn’t. Being that tilt is often more productive than touch, the gameplay isn’t greatly impacted and some levels can be zipped through in 30 seconds or less simply by tilting. In fact, it’s the tilting navigation that makes Alien Axis fun. The puzzling aspect of the game varies from challenging to obvious, but you definitely root for Otto if only to hear his triumphant giggle at each level’s end.
While Alien Axis could stand a few tweaks to update minor glitches, such as frequently failing to launch on the first try, a bit more explanation of maneuvers involving jumping, and more responsive touch controls, the combination of settings, ease of play and solid premise make it a more than acceptable .99 puzzle. To try before you buy, check out Alien Axis Lite with a limited number of levels.