Monorail!: Are You Smarter than a Civil Engineer?


Price: $0.99
Monorail!: Written & Video iPad App Review

Monorail! for iPhone

Reviewed by Luke Patrick

Here at the iPhone App Review, we’re all about puzzle games for the iPhone and iPad. In fact, there’s not much on this planet that we enjoy more than just a simple, fantastic and challenging puzzler for iOS. With this in mind, may we present to you now an app called Monorail! by developer Darren Gates. It’s a unique and unresolved question of an app that challenges you to bring out the civil engineer within. You’ll be building bridges, lining up elements, and hoping to God that train just gets across the bloody gap. For more information, peep our full review below!

Concept and Gameplay

The concept behind Monorail! looks something like this: In-app, you’re playing engineer on a mission, controlling the development and layout of a new bridge. With each level, the gap you’re spanning changes, but the bits you’ve got to build with stay relatively similar. Within each, you’ll need to lay down a track, build up support using iron, wood, rope, bits of the environment, or anything else you have purchased to perform with. You’ll need to consider stress points, the added weight of the train at different time intervals, and even how your shapes will bend underneath the continued strain of holding up to wear and tear. It’s a complex, and to be honest, too challenging task.

The problem with the app’s gameplay is that it’s nearly impossible to know what will function well. In other words, the physics engine at work here ramps up and down dramatically depending on where the train is, and unless you spend a lot of time figuring out the apps quirks, what may seem to be a secure structure may dissolve after only a few seconds of use.

Graphics and Design

Monorail! for iPhone

Monorail! for iPhone

Thankfully, the way Monorail! looks can hardly be faulted. The app is a gorgeous piece of effort, and that’s something we can hardly deny. The environments, the trains and the pieces you’ve got to build with are all top-notch. However, the interface sadly is not. It’s cumbersome and not quite intuitive to lay out your construction elements. Furthermore, though the developers have included a grid for your own use, it’s still difficult to precisely set out the bridge as you like it. For instance, some of the construction nodes (fixed points) are not even with the level itself. This is frustrating, and highly problematic.

Overall Value

At the end of the day, Monorail! is perhaps one of the more challenging puzzlers we have seen for the iOS platform in a long time. As such, it’s definitely a worthy call for the dedicated puzzle maniac. However, it does still have some issues to work out. For the dollar it costs, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. But until future updates correct some of these concerns, you may not be likely to come back for much replay.

Monorail!Monorail! requires iOS 4.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid to speed up the publication of this review, as well as a video production fee.

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