Developer: Pavel Kozarek
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
BubbleHead - For those of you that can appreciate a little quirkiness in your life, please pay attention here. The talented team over at CrowdCafé has put together a meaty casual game that leverages an inspired art style and some slick controls. I invite you to continue reading to get an understanding for why BubbleHead is my latest little addiction on my iPhone.
In this game, you're a little creature named BubbleHead. Don’t let the confused and dazed look your character has fool you, he’s incredibly fast and nimble. Something tells me BubbleHead’s not this way out of pure desire, but rather, it’s a requirement to take on the challenges he faces across 25 levels (split in 5 themed worlds).
The goal of BubbleHead is to get from one end of a level to the other as fast as possible to set a good time. Along the way, you’ll need to pick up stars to that take seconds off your final time. The path is littered with objects and obstacles, but it makes things a little more tense and interesting. Unlike some games that only have offline top scores, you'll have incentive to do your best as your performances will be compared with others through the game's online leaderboards.
BubbleHead has some the most refined tilt and touch controls I’ve experienced in an iPhone game. The game is played from a top down perspective, and moving your touching the screen accelerates your character while removing your finger stops momentum and allows backtracking. The most impressive thing about the controls is the accelerator that controls left and right movement. A gradual tilt moves your character slowly while a sharp turn triggers a fast movement across the screen. With a little practice, you’ll be zipping around at amazing speeds, and you’ll be having a ball trying to go for a perfect run.
BubbleHead’s zaniness comes across most in its visuals and sounds. The high resolution hand-drawn art is beautiful to watch. Across the game’s five themed worlds (e.g. fast food, sports, forest, etc.), you’ll see related objects and obstacles in the level. For example, in the fast food world, you’ll have to navigate around burgers, donuts and pizza among other things. It’s quite cute and funny to look at though, so it isn’t as corny as it may sound. BubbleHead also supports playback from your iPod library, and it listening to Eminem’s new album while playing felt strangely perfect. The one downer of using custom soundtracks was that some subtle frame rate hiccups started to occur. I'm confident this can be addressed with a software update though.
Do yourself (and Crowdcafé) a favor by picking up this inspired and polished little game. BubbleHead controls wonderfully, looks gorgeous, and has more than enough depth to justify the two dollar barrier to entry. BubbleHead is an extraordinary debut game from Crowdcafé, and I'm anxious to see what their next effort will look like.