Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review: Fallin Love for iPhone and iPad

What best time to talk about a game about love than... Halloween?

Surely Fallin Love will have a big promotion for Valentine's Day, however an update was released recently, featuring new levels and significantly improved performance on older devices, so it's worth talking about it now.
Technically, this game by the Italian Chestnut Games should be considered an action game: a platformer, where the usual ability to jump has been replaced by tilt mechanics. However, the action elements are minimal, and it plays more like a puzzle game.

Your goal in every level is to collect a costume (in this case, the astronaut suit in the top right), and reach the exit. Optionally, you can try to collect all three hearts.
You can walk by touching the sides of the screen, but you can't jump. Instead, you can rotate the whole world by turning the device. So if you rotate it clockwise you get this...
... and turning it upside down you get this. Note that as you turn the device your character and the blue block fall according to the new direction of gravity. You must be careful to not make the block fall on your head!
If you don't like turning around your device, there is an alternate control scheme where you only use swipes. However, I found the default controls more intuitive and fun, at least on an iPhone. Playing on an iPad is a bit more cumbersome.

You might wonder why you should be collecting costumes. The reason, sadly, is unrequited love. You're trying to impress a girl, but every time you approach her in your new disguise, she comes up with a new desire. This means that every level has a different costume. That's a really nice touch.
A small number of levels also include enemies that you must avoid. This adds an additional action element, but since your movement abilities are limited, it's more effective to deal with them strategically. They can die in the same ways as you: crushed by blocks, falling on spikes, etc. However, a new one will respawn shortly afterwards, so it's more effective to try and trap them in places where they cannot harm you.
The second world introduces new orange blocks which act like balloons: they float to the top of the screen.
The third world adds the yellow blocks, which join with other blocks when they touch them.
So if in the above level you turn the device clockwise, you end up in this position:
which isn't good at all, because you are now permanently trapped, because the block in the bottom left can't be moved! So you need to be careful of how you let those blocks join.

The fourth world added in the recent update doesn't seem to introduce new elements, but it makes you play with blocks of different type at the same time.
Playing this game is a pleasant digression from the kind of pure puzzles that I usually play. Even if it's a platformer, it doesn't require dexterity, and just using a bit of logic to plan your actions is usually enough. The average difficulty isn't high, but getting all three hearts requires some extra effort and can be tricky in a few cases.

If you want an extra challenge, there's an additional "Hardcore" world which I think can only be unlocked with an in-app purchase. It contains levels which are definitely harder than the rest of the game. The in-app purchase also unlocks all levels so you can play them in any order.

The graphics are cute and polished, with a very peculiar style which I really like. The're also a catchy background music which however might feel too repetitive after a while.

I would have recommended this game anyway, but currently it's also free, so there's really no reason not to get it.


Summary

Nontrivialness★★★☆☆
Logical Reasoning★★★★★
User Interface★★★★★
Presentation★★★★★
Loading Time★★★☆☆
Saves Partial Progress
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©2014 Nicola Salmoria. Unauthorized use and/or duplication without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicola Salmoria and nontrivialgames.blogspot.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 



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