Rafter In Review – Difficult Da Vinci themed perplexing puzzler!

Oh puzzle games: you bring so much amusement and enjoyment to our lives and yet, you also seem to always bring plenty of heartbreak and annoyance. This is how I have always felt about puzzle games.  My love/hate relationship with them has gone on for many years across many platforms.  In the end no matter how mad or frustrated I get, I always go back. It’s an addiction. Luckily for me, I just found my latest fix with Emantras’ latest release, Rafter, a puzzle game designed around the central theme of Leonardo Da Vinci. Feel free to discuss this review of Rafter in our forums.

Using lots of beige and brown to mimic old writing on paper they definitely capture that old Da Vincian feeling. In the backgrounds, you’ll notice fading sketches that look like they were torn from the pages of Da Vinci’s very own work (and for all I know they might be). From top to bottom they keep the theme consistent the whole way through, aside from areas that they had to leave (e.g. OpenFeint integration/images). Even without playing, you get the comfortable, settling vibe that Emantras are going for.

Rafter itself is a rather straightforward puzzler. You play level by level and the goal of the game is to get your objects to make contact with the spiky red target. It may seem easy enough but after a few levels you’ll start to see how much effort actually went into designing these levels.  Some of these are seemingly impossible (I should know, I was personally stuck on one for 4 days =\).  The odd part is as difficult as some of it may be, quitting isn’t an option.

Controls are pretty easy to get used to.  Above the game board is an area marked off where you are supposed to sketch your game pieces.  On the far right you’ll notice the box to select whether you want to draw balls or rectangles.  As you draw the pieces they will fall into the game area and make there way down however they can. If you manage to hit the target, you move on; if you miss, then you’ll have to keep drawing until you can hit. There are various items to hit/bounce off of, some objects that will move if hit, even fans that’ll just blow your piece right off the screen.

There’s a lot of “tap and drag” to draw the pieces and the one thing that I don’t like was that when you wanted to draw something really small or thin, you could barely see it because it would be trapped visually by your finger.  Maybe if they let you draw anywhere, and just have it materialize above, that might work.  Otherwise, controlling it was fine and quite enjoyable.

There’s a great little instruction area that’s accessible from the main page; there you’ll get all the how-to that you need, perfecting it is your problem. They’ve also integrated the Open Feint system which means that you have the opportunity to accomplish even more tasks and achievements. All in all I think it’s one of the best puzzlers that I have.  On top of that, the developers have stated that yet another 50 levels are coming, as well as a level builder! At $0.99, with everything the game is, and everything that it will be in the near future, I think that rafter is a worthy choice for puzzle fans.

App Summary
Title:RafterDeveloper:Emantras Inc
Reviewed Ver:1.4Min OS Req:3.1
Price:$0.99App Size:8.4 MB
  • Great theme/design
  • Replay value
  • Challenging
  • Drawing area is a bit cramped

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