Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Blendimals [iOS] Review

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Having played and loved Plantman [Free] ,also Shadow of Kharon [Free], I had an incline     Blendimals was going to be something special.  New Danish indie developer Exploding Cow blast off onto the App Store with a superb launch title.  Like their Creative Director, they evidently share his talent, perhaps modesty as well.

What makes this strategic platform puzzler stand out, is an amalgamation of familiar features I have come to associate with Dennis's work.  High standard production, controls which feel second nature, addictive sometimes challenging gaming and good old fashioned fun  . . .  all amid a thought-provoking story.

Blendimals' tale of teamwork realising a mutual dream is quirky and elevating.  These zany animals who muse about reaching The Moon must work together in their attempts.  Its premise is straightforward enough, players choose which cartoon animals they add to this giant blender, then use the hybrid/s to reach The Rocket Chair found at each levels' end.

Your cow-chicken-rhino, or bouncy bunny-dirt mole-floaty blowfish maybe, is piped onto the levels' start.  From here you guide it through an environment full of hazardous obstacles.  Each animal has a unique skill useful to traversing and solving different barriers, also puzzles.
    Whether it's swiping up your freshly made bunny cross to jump over gaps, or tapping an egg-laying chicken mix for holding a door switch for instance.  Spikes which need avoiding and tunnels that require digging are prime examples of what may lie ahead.

The user interface is sharp, colourful and simple to navigate.  There's even a survival guide handy for reference.

I found things begin to get tricky around level 10.  More method in your madness is needed from here on out and you should more so think about which concoction would mash together the most competent combo for each particular task faced.
    This said process seldom gets frustrating though, just practise some reconnaissance before putting your recipe together and you'll soon be blending with the best of them.  Some levels require more than one Blendimal so planning's recommended, yet the trail and error involved is a joy to be had.

The scoring system is easy to understand.  You earn either a bronze, silver or gold medal upon reaching each goal.  This depends on how many Blendimals are created per course. Less is more, but infinite resources means finishing's achievable no matter how many it takes.   There are over 30 individual levels, including a secret cow episode and bonus stages, the latter of which in my experience I presume are unlocked with gold medals.

Wonderfully animated shorts scattered throughout help tell this fable and echo the love that went into creating and redesigning Blendimals.  The fact that its creators are a bunch of old school nineties gamers is also nostalgically apparent.

It should come as no surprise, what with this being a title starring animals, that at least one bug would cameo.  There is definitely something fishy going on within level 12, where upon failure your Blendimal reappears at the checkpoint then falls to its death in one continuous loop.  The irony of level twelve's title says it all, "That's a pickle!"
    Hold your horses!  I'm sure Exploding Cow will be all over this like a team of fire ants and squish it no time.

 I enjoyed flying through the game, so much I'm sad having to take some time-out for writing this review, but now I'm going back for one hundred percent completion!  Game Center high scores, a dozen achievements too are also available.  These add replay value, even if it is comical just experimenting time and again.
    Really would like to see the mobile market flourish with more of these lower-tier premium games.   Accessible for all the family, they could be tomorrow's classics.

Blendimals
Exploding Cow

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"It's a blast!"
★★★★★

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Sunday, 3 May 2015

#Blendimals lands on the @AppStore May 6 [iOS] News


"Holy cow-fish-bunny-rhino!" 

It has been almost a year since I caught up with Dennis Neilsen, Creative Director at Exploding Cow.
    Back then he mentioned they were working on readying their latest strategic platform puzzler for world-wide release.
    Starting life as a browser game in 2011, Blendimals was redesigned for iOS by the Danish indie developer before its soft launch in Nordic countries last year.

Mid 2014, I had a chance to get some hands-on experience with the original browser version, more recently some gameplay in of its redesigned iOS counterpart.
    First impressions?  
    It's delicious!  

Blendimals will be available on iPhone and iPad from the 6th of May for a lower tier premium price of £2.29 GBP (Or your countries equivalent.)

Come back soon for the full review and when I will hopefully catch-up with Dennis himself.  Until then, check out some screenshots and trailer below for a taster.