Written iPhone App Review
Who knew physics could be so fun? Originally a free web-based game from independent developer Colin Northway, Fantastic Contraption has now made its way onto the App Store. inXile Entertainment purchased the rights to Fantastic Contraption late last year, with a view to developing an iPhone version of this hugely popular physics puzzler.
Fantastic Contraption does take a couple of minutes to get your head around, but the concept is a simple one – create a machine to transport an object from point A (blue zone) to point B (pink zone).
You build your contraption using a combination of wheels and connecting rods and then hit the ‘Start’ button to see your machine in action. Everything is static in build mode, but hit start and your machine will come to life – wheels spin, gears turn and the laws of physics take effect.
The game features both powered and non-powered wheels and connectors with different properties, and you’ll have to decide what is needed for the situation. Sometimes you’ll have to bridge a gap, or make it over or around an obstacle in order to reach the goal.
The great thing about Fantastic Contraption is that there is no “right” way to finish a level. There are many different approaches you can take, and it’s really only the end result that matters. The first few stages are quite easy, but don’t expect them all to be so simple and straight-forward. It takes a fair amount of trial and error and some outside-the-box ideas to beat the harder levels.
Fantastic Contraption is an easy game to play and makes great use of the iPhone touch interface. Selecting components and assembling your machine only takes a couple of taps. For added precision when building, the developers have included a nifty little feature that zooms in on the portion of the screen beneath your finger. It’s much like Apple’s hold-and-zoom technique for accurately moving the cursor in a text message.
Fantastic Contraption comes loaded with 43 playable levels and also a built-in level editor. You can create your own custom levels as well as download new ones made by other players – so you’ll never run out of new challenges. Admittedly, the graphics aren’t amazing – but the gameplay is compelling, and that’s what really counts.
Fantastic Contraption requires the 2.2 software update and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.
See video below for some in-game footage.
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