Amazing Alex may not be as maddeningly addictive as Angry Birds but it is still fun, writes Himmat Singh
MENTION Rovio and slingshots, birds and pigs come to mind. But that’s changed. After four successive Angry Birds-themed games, Rovio’s latest release doesn’t involve slinging birds into pigs or anything of that sort. Instead, it’s a remake of a popular iOS game (Casey’s Contraptions) which it bought over not too long ago.
Amazing Alex, just like its Angry Birds predecessors, is a physics-based puzzle game.
Your goal is to complete a certain task like getting a ball into a basket or popping a balloon with a dart. There are three stars in each level which will get your brains working, especially in the latter levels as getting even one star can be a problem.
Basically, a scene is set up in each level and you’re given a few objects to complete the task at hand. You are required to place the objects in such a way that it results in a chain reaction that allows you to complete your task. As you proceed, there will be a wider variety of objects at your disposal.
Amazing Alex starts off rather easily, but difficulty ramps up pretty fast. I played through the first 8-10 levels or so and managed to solve them all on my first try with three stars but things get so difficult that eventually solving a level feels like an insurmountable task.
Amazing Alex requires a lot of trial-and-error and maybe some out-of-the-box thinking. The good thing is that the physics involved are realistic and not random.
If you repeat the exact same arrangement twice, you will get the exact same result. Also, once you fail, you don’t restart from scratch. Instead, you go back to your last arrangement. This means you can improvise as you go along.
At first glance, the graphics looks very cartoonish and may give the impression that the game is aimed at children.
However, the rather steep difficulty curve will be a challenge to everyone, regardless of their age.
There’s not much going on in terms of graphics as things are fairly static. But the environments are cheery and colourful and when you set a chain reaction in motion, things move along smoothly.
All you need to do is use your index finger to drag objects from the inventory and line them up as you please. The tricky part is lining the objects up, as sometimes placing them a mere fraction to the right or left can result in an entirely different chain reaction.
In addition to its 100-over levels (with more to come in future updates), Amazing Alex has an extra weapon that will enhance replay value — a level editor where you can create your own level and then upload it to the Internet so that anyone can play it or email it directly to a friend.
You can’t just create a level which is impossible to solve: You have to be able to solve it yourself first and get three stars in the process.
This is fun and I won’t be surprised if Rovio decides to include some of the user created levels in future game updates. You can download user created levels through the app and see how you fare against other people’s imagination.
Amazing Alex is a highly polished game with a slick interface that’s all-too-familiar if you’ve been playing the Angry Birds series.
However, whenever I played Angry Birds, I found myself saying “just one more time” but I cannot seem to replicate this level of enthusiasm for Amazing Alex.
Overall, Amazing Alex is a good game but the latter levels can be frustrating and you will need lots of patience and persistence to endure. Some may even find the game boring after a while. Get it if you’re a fan of puzzles and what-not, but if you don’t like slow moving games or puzzle games in general, this may not be for you.
Developer: Rovio Mobile
Publisher: Rovio Mobile
Release: July 2012
Availability: Android & iOS
Price: US$0.99 (RM3.07
— Regular) and US$2.99
(RM9.28 — HD)
Replay Value: HHHH
Overall Rating: HHHH