Developer: Pixelated Games
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Pixilated Games has brought an expanded version of the free online game Splitter Pals to iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. For those who haven’t tried it, it may be hard to imagine elementary artwork and sound giving any support to a truly challenging physics puzzle game, but the unexpected merger seems to work in the Splitter Pals app. It isn’t hard to overlook the game’s features that are less appealing on iPhone once you’ve immersed yourself in the brainteaser aspects of the game. Providing the audience is comprised of puzzle fans, the overall aesthetic goal of Splitter Pals is met with challenging sequences of variations not available online or in the free version.
As with most physics puzzle games, Splitter Pals is based on reactive movement of the surrounding elements. The goal is to get each “pal” to their home within the maximum allowed moves – or in this case cuts. Players can only cut through some of the structural elements to achieve their goal, but the mechanics aren’t always obvious and they add to the overall challenge of the game.
Splitter Pals features 80 levels and four special pal worlds to provide visual variety. In addition to the level goal of reaching home, stars can also be collected for bonus points. Extra points can also be earned for solving the puzzle in fewer than the allowed number of cuts. Experimentation with mechanics and reaction is often required to solve many of the levels and still achieve the maximum number of points, but level replay allows for quick re-dos whenever necessary.
The biggest downside to Splitter Pals is the unoriginal (and slightly annoying) sound effects for failing a level or attempting an un-allowed cut. They can be turned off in the options menu, but without an on/off display it’s impossible to tell which setting is enabled until the game is launched. The background music and artwork aren’t necessarily stunning or original, but it’s the challenging and addictive nature of the gameplay made slightly stronger with the handheld, touch screen rendition that puzzle fans will find appealing.
All in all, Splitter Pals is a decent .99 game that rivals Cut the Rope and Cover Orange in terms of puzzle-solving even if not in terms of visual appeal and polished finish. If you’re a fan of physics-based puzzles, Splitter Pals isn't that big an investment and provide hours of addictive puzzle time fun.