So would you be all that surprised if I said this game had a fairly cute protagonist, a bunch of obstacles and some rope? Thankfully, though, Rope Rescue HD has nothing to do with feeding said protagonist cookies, cakes or any other kind of sweets. In fact, in relation to the game’s name, the action involves a parrot using the rope to unlock cages and free baby parrots. This is actually a clever little game, and it’s nice to play a rope puzzle game that isn’t really about physics and doesn’t involve fire (well at least not all the time). It’s actually quite challenging despite its cute facade which makes it a distraction for kids and still fun for adults.
The King Bat in your forest apparently has an inferiority complex and has decided that he must steal all the feathers from the baby parrots to become the most beautiful creature in the forest. It’s up to you to save the poor parrots, but all you have at your disposal is some rope to unlock the cages they have been locked in. Additionally, the lock for a cage will only pop up when the rope is touching all the wheels that are on the screen. You must drag your parrot Ruppert around the screen so that the rope hanging from his mouth comes in contact with any wheel that you can see. Once all the wheels are secure the latch will pop up and you touch it with the rope to complete the chain. If at any point you know you’re heading down the wrong direction you can double tap the screen and Ruppert will let go of the rope so you can start over.
Along the way you’ll run into plenty of challenges. Dual ropes will test your ability to multitask. Knives and fire are harmful to both you and the rope. Bats won’t hurt the rope but they will certainly stop you dead in your tracks. Moving objects can stretch the length of the rope you must use, while darkness makes it difficult to plan out a path. Your final score for each level is based on length of rope used plus time it takes you to complete that level, so the obstacles can have a significant impact on one or both of those factors. How much rope you use also determines whether you earn 1, 2 or 3 feathers for a level, so you might have to experiment a few times until you find a path the will let you avoid every obstacle and still arrive at the cage with the shortest amount of rope. On certain levels you can free a butterfly, and you will also earn butterflies for collecting certain numbers of feathers. These butterflies can be used to get hints on where the shortest paths might be.
The simple mechanics and multiple solutions for each level make this quite an appealing diversion. Add to that Crystal leaderboards and achievements and there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back. Unfortunately, there is one big reason not to. I’m playing this on an iPad 2 running iOS 4.3.5, and so far I’ve had the game crash on me twice. That wouldn’t normally bother me so much, because I’ve had that happen on many games on my iPod Touch, but in this case both times it wiped out my saved game so I had to start over. Since I have no inclination as to if or when that might happen again, I’m really leery to put any more effort into the game beyond finishing this review.
The visuals are pretty much what you’ve come to expect from a Chillingo sanctioned puzzle game. Everything is colorful and the backgrounds are nicely detailed. The birds and bats are cute in a somewhat round, bulbous sort of way. There are some nice little touches as well, like feathers flying when you hit a wheel too hard. The sound effects are okay, but overall things in the game are actually pretty quiet. I do think Ruppert sounds more like a chicken than parrot personally. The music is decent, but again nothing that really sticks out.
Overall Rope Rescue HD had the makings of a great puzzle experience. The mechanics are easy to figure out, the puzzles are challenging and can be solved in more than one way, and there’s plenty to do between simply beating the game and getting all the achievements. Unfortunately, my experience has been severely damped due to the loss of my saved game two different times. I’m not saying this will happen to everyone, and I wouldn’t necessarily let it deter you from getting the game, but if you’ve got a way to back up files on your iDevice, I’d suggest using it once in a while for Rope Rescue.
Rope Rescue is also available for the iPhone.
|Title:||Rope Rescue HD||Developer:||Chillingo Ltd|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||3.1|