The biggest problem facing users of the App Store is that it is so full that it can be difficult to just browse and find good stuff at random. Even excellent titles get lost in a sea of mediocrity unless someone happens to draw your attention to them.
Which is why I'm drawing your attention to Beyond Ynth. It's not a normally a game that would immediatel appeal to me - the rather cutesy graphics would have put me off. However, the almost universally glowing reviews persuaded me to take a chance on it; a decision I've never regretted.
You play as Kribl, a small ladybird type creature who lives in the land of Kriblobnia. When all your friends are captured by the Dark Spiders of the Apocalypse, it's up to you to set out and rescue them, collecting the Dazzling Diamonds along the way so that peace and happiness can once again be restored to the land. Hooray!
Generic plotting aside, Beyond Ynth offers a level of innovation rarely seen on iPhone titles. Rather than having to leap across platforms or shoot things, Kribl must make his way through the landscape via a series of boxes. These boxes must all be aligned correctly so that Kribl can pass from one to the other - something he achieves by entering a box and rotating it to the angle needed. It's an interesting and differnet gameplay mechanism that works well and is instantly challenging and fun.
Mind you, most people will probably initially be attracted by Beyond Ynth's presentation. It is one of the brightest and cutest games on the iPhone. The high standards of presentation start from the very beginning, with a parchment style map showing you the s locations in the game (and giving you some idea of its size). Similarly, when you select a level, leaves blow across the screen as a transition from the static screen to the actual game. It might not sound like much, bu small things like this show the level of care that has gone into the game.
The in game graphics are equally bright, colourful and cartoon-like. There are some nice forest-related backdrops, full of green trees and other scenery, whilst Kribl himself is a rather cute looking ladybird with a permanently happy grin attached to its face. No matter how old and cynical you are, it's impossible not to like him (and believe me, I've tried). Other characters are equally well animated and the boxes (which form a crucial part of the game) are basic but clearly drawn so it's obvious (for example) where gaps, springs or other helpful items are located.
Sound is also appropriately cute. A rather jaunty little tune plays throughout (this is fine, although longer gaming sessions can see it starting to grate a little), accompanied by relatively sparse, but entirely appropriate sound effects. The sound perfectly suits both the style of the gameplay and the graphics and is really reminiscent of old Super Nintendo or Master System games.
But it's the gameplay that will keep you coming back to Beyond Ynth. Not only is it innovative and different, it's also a lot of fun and has a surprising amount of depth. At first glance, you might dismiss it as "just another platform game", but nothing could be further from the truth. It has more in common with a puzzle game as you need to work out exactly how to align the boxes to allow you to progress.
The difficulty level is superbly balanced. The initial tutorial levels are nice and straightforward and will probably have you thinking the game is too easy. The beauty of them, however, is that they are so well designed that they seamlessly introduce you to the basic gameplay mechanics whilst at the same time hooking you into the game. Once you start playing, it's a hard game to put down, as there is always that temptation to "just try one more level".
Beyond Ynth also offers considerable long-term playability. Yes, there is the potential to get stuck occasionally, which is frustrating, but you'll still keep coming back to see if you can crack that tricky puzzle that's holding you up. It's one of those games that will have you thinking about it even when you're not playing it, turning different scenarios over in your mind to see if you can crack it. Helpfully, if you get really stuck, the creators have included a series of video solutions which take you through how to solve each puzzle. Of course, if you're weak-willed, you could use this as a simple walk-through to help you complete the game but then that's your own daft fault!
There are a massive 80 levels to complete, which the developers reckon equates to around 15 hours' gaming time, although I've played it (on and off) for longer than this and have still not reached the end. Even when you complete every level, there remains the additional challenge of collecting the maximum number of diamonds for each level, so it's a game that offers a lot of fun in both the short and longer term.
Controls have also been well thought out and executed. Two arrows in the middle of the screen control left or right movement, whilst two arrows above them are used to jump in the respective direction. These are incredibly smooth and responsive and the buttons are just the right size so that you can use them easily without them obscuring the screen. The buttons are well spaced (although I had a little bit of trouble initially switching quickly between walk and jump) and you will soon find that your fingers start to gravitate to exactly where they need to be. The game is also iCade compatible, although to be honest, the standard touch screen controls work so well what I rarely bother with any alternative.
A further nice touch is rewind option. If you get stuck, or have messed up a box you can "rewind" the action to a point where you can get yourself unstuck. This is a really useful feature that encourages a trial and error approach to the gameplay. It's nice to know that you can try different things and if the worst happens just rewind a little, rather than having to start the whole level again.
It's only £1.49 to download and comes highly recommended for anyone who likes cute puzzlers. I'm glad I took notice of all the positive reviews and took a chance on it. Having read this, maybe you should do the same?
© Copyright SWSt 2013
One of the wonderful things about DooYoo is that sometimes you'll read such a great review of a product, you'll feel it is impossible not to buy it. Well, that is, at least, how I felt about savvyshopper6476's review of this app game. And I'm happy to say that I'm glad I took the plunge with this product. If you're looking for a new app game to test your puzzling skills, look no further.
Kribl, a small insect from the Kingdom of Kriblonia, is a bug on a mission. The four dark spiders of the apocalypse have stolen diamonds that empower Kriblonia, and it is up to Kribl to explore the various territories beyond Kriblonia and return the diamonds to their rightful home...
Playing the game
As you may have already guessed, you play as Kribl and guide him through the various levels in different territories in order to retrieve these diamonds. However, unlike conventional games, Beyond Ynth's originality comes from the way in which you navigate your way through the various terrains. In every level, you will encounter boxes, which resemble mazes in various shapes and sizes. These boxes must be used by Kribl to help him advance through various levels.
Using these boxes are pretty simple, as a tutorial guides you through the game's controls once you embark on your adventure. However, the way in which to move a box is by tilting it by pushing against a wooden edge on either side. By doing this, you will tip the box over in the desired direction and thus progress through the level. You are also able to jump and you can also nudge a box if it is unable to tip any further. All controls for movement are on the sides of the screen and are very easy to use. Mistakes made by pressing a wrong button rarely occur due to the layout of the controls, and thus make for easy gameplay. In addition to the four buttons for movement, there are also a further two buttons on the bottom edges of the screen. One allows you to rewind the level to a certain extent, which can be very helpful if you've realised you've made a mistake or you've managed to kill Kribl. The other allows you to zoom out, to assess what you may need to consider is ahead of you before tipping the box mindlessly.
There are four types of terrain to explore, which include forest, desert, ice and volcanic lands. These territories are not exclusive; they appear more than once at various points on the level map, and you cannot simply decide which levels within the various terrains you wish to attempt. Progression from level to level can only be made by following the designated paths on the map, which means that you cannot necessarily complete all of the levels in a certain type of terrain without completing other levels from different terrain first. Personally, I enjoy this, as the challenge of opening up new levels of the map and aiming to complete as many levels as I can engages my attention with the game.
In each level there are two diamonds to collect, and attaining both will award you with a gold medal for that level. If you only manage to collect one, you will be awarded a silver award, and I assume collecting none, but navigating your way successfully through the level would award you with a bronze. However, collecting these diamonds are not always easy, as they are often in awkward or difficult to reach places. Thus, you must utilise the boxes in each level logically in order to work out how to reach these diamonds. Additionally, there are also other obstacles in your way. For example, in the desert levels, standing in direct sunlight for more than a second will kill Kribl, while leaving a box in an ice level will also freeze Kribl to death if he roams away for too long. As well as this, there are often blocks that can either block paths or help to reach awkward places. Thus, you really have to think 'out of the box' (bad pun, I know) in order to complete the various levels.
What I think
In the world of gaming apps, you can either end up with a really good, engaging game (e.g. Cut the Rope, Plants vs. Zombies etc.) or a game that you play once, and fails to grab your attention. Beyond Ynth is essentially simple in its concept; one bug exploring the world to find diamonds by navigating his way through boxes. However, despite looking very cutesy graphically, the app is a really engaging puzzle game in which the player has to consider all options available to them in order to complete a level. Promising hours of gameplay, this game can be extremely addictive. Often, I have found myself having to backtrack my way through a level as I have missed some vital block that I need to reach a diamond, or have tipped my box incorrectly, consequently meaning I am unable to progress with the level. Thus, this game succeeds in challenging the player continuously. However, that is not to say that the game is impossible to complete; the majority of the levels I've attempted have been awarded a gold medal, with only one on a silver, and one I am yet to return to, as I found myself unable to complete it at the time. Thus, it is not so infuriatingly difficult that you'll want to give up on it after a few levels.
In addition to the challenging levels, the great artwork and sound effects add to the overall success of this game. The artwork is bright and colourful, with each terrain uniquely animated and a pleasure to look at. I generally have the music off, as I find gaming music irritating on the whole. However, I did find the audio narrated story sequences added to my experience of the game.
The animation is very well done, and Kribl moves well; as far as I have seen, this game is not at all glitchy. However, on this note, I would mention that I play Beyond Ynth on a HTC Desire S, meaning that I downloaded it off the Android market. While my Desire S is an excellent device for playing app games, from my experience, not all Android phones have the capability of being able to play well. For example, I used to own a Sony Experia X8, and this struggled to play games such as Angry Birds without glitching. Thus, for Android phone users with a weak processor or graphics card, I would warn you that this might not work as well. However, iPhone/iPod users need not fear, as the game runs beautifully on either.
Another potentially negative aspect to the game is that there does not seem to be much capability for level updates. While this is not wholly concerning as the game does offer a vast amount of levels anyway, I do feel my money is well spent with games like Cut the Rope in the knowledge that level updates are regular and offer me further value for money. That said, the game only costs 80p to download off the Android Market (69p off iTunes) and thus it is not an extortionate spend.
If you aren't wholly convinced to go and buy this game, there is a free Beyond Ynth Xmas mini game, which is free to download, and will give you a better idea of what its bigger brother is all about. Otherwise, I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a new, addictive game for their phone - well worth the 80p!
I have downloaded several new game apps for my iPod Touch of recent and whilst most provided a good element of play one game scaled the heady heights of becoming my new all time favourite (at least on a level par with the fantastic Cut The Rope). Beyond Ynth, the simplistic puzzler has offered some of the best game play I have seen with more than eighty unique puzzles and fifteen hours of original game play, managing to retain my interest for long periods, possessing that all important "just one more minute" factor. The game has a great longevity of play and is the perfect puzzle app for those who thrive on games that provide head scratching moments.
Originally released in September 2010 and developed by a small independent company called Krabl.com, published by FDG Mobile, a German developer known for other high quality gaming apps such as Cover Orange and the ever popular Bobby Carrot series. Beyond Ynth, the successor to Ynth (released 2009) takes puzzle gaming to a new level with a unique game concept. One ladybird and a labyrinth of boxes that need to be manipulated in order to navigate your way through the level. Rather than actually navigating a maze you create the maze by moving a succession of boxes that, if positioned correctly will create a pathway to the exit, a somewhat unusual approach to puzzle solving and it's this simplistic idea that is the genius of Beyond Ynth.
The four dark spiders of the Apocalypse have stolen an abundance of dazzly diamonds, the only light source of the kingdom of Kriblonia. As the spiders fled they carelessly scattered the precious jewels in treacherous territories across the kingdom. The diamonds must be collected in order to regain the light and prevent the enveloping doom of darkness, restoring order to the once peaceful dominion. Introducing Kribl, a brave knight, who incidentally happens to be a rather endearing ladybug, called upon by the queen to venture through the perilous landscapes to retrieve all the missing diamonds.
One little bug is about to embark on one epic adventure...
As the player, you take control of Kribl guiding him through the four territories of Kribonia (polar, volcanic, desert and forest) using tap controls. The game begins with a quick story board (A Bugs Tale, that can be accessed for reference from the main menu) with beautifully drawn artwork with the previously explained plot synopsis. Game play starts with a map of the kingdom where a handful of levels in the Fairye forest are unlocked and ready to play. Subsequent levels across the map will only be unlocked once a previous level has been completed, a cunning tactic but one that forces the player to strive to achieve a solution. As the player, you must control the heroic ladybug through a maze of boxes which double not just as vehicles of transportation but also obstructions. Jumping into the boxes and leaning against their walls forces them to turn on their side. Eventually you will hit another box but they must be perfectly aligned in order for Kribl to gain access to the new container. It's not unusual to have to double back on yourself or reposition and re-align boxes to collect a diamond and it's not unusual to spend excessive amounts on time puzzling over just one level. There is a rewind button that for all intense purposes acts as a life line if you make a mistake but it will only reverse the game for about a minute and as a result one solitary mistake earlier in the game will cause you to restart. If aligning boxes wasn't hard enough (and make no mistake it is far trickier than it sounds) you must also avoid a bombardment of obstacles including scorching sun beams that will burn you, snow flakes that will freeze you, volcanic lava, tumble weed and giant acorns along with a multitude of other hurdles that also include sticky glue, trap doors and large bolts that can only be opened once a box is correctly positioned.
Game Play And Beyond....
Controls are incredibly accurate and responsive although more thought is required to play than quick response. Left, right and jump are all that's required for movement and controls (neatly located at either length on the horizontal screen) are accessible without impeding the screen view. Realistic game play means if you maneuver a box up the side of an icy mountain too slowly you will slide back to the bottom. Like wise if your box sits on a volcanic crater it may melt some of the wood (which can also be a good thing).
First impressions of the game are incredibly good and anyone who played the original will notice a vast improvement not just on the game content but also on the sublime visuals and audio. Everything about this app and been perfectly executed. The hand painted motion animation is nothing short of stunning. Cartoon graphics and rich, vibrant colours provide stunning back ground visuals. Back ground art work is beautiful with crystal clear back drops for each of the four territories of the kingdom providing enough detailing to be interesting without cluttering the screen which simply enhances the game without causing a distraction and it pains me to admit that the sound is equally as supreme as the visuals.
A varied studio recorded sound track provides enough musical variation throughout the eighty levels to actually enhance the game without becoming repetitive and grating. The music isn't just restricted to ditsy, chintzy melodies but at times a little heavier and for once I can tolerate playing with the volume turned on (all be it, just enough to hear. Any louder and the music and sound effects are over bearing).
Sneaky Peeks For Little Cheats....
For players who have been driven to the brink of madness attempting to solve a puzzle the app offers some light relief in the form of a level walk-through (a link takes you to YouTube) where a video solution can be played for each individual game. It takes a great deal of self control to stick with the challenge till the bitter end, especially once you consciously become aware that a quick fix is just a tap away. For some, shamefully, myself included the temptation of a sneaky peek can and will be too great although thankfully I have only succumbed to my cheating demons on a couple of occasions. I really can't think why the developers decided to make the solutions so readily available as personally I think that part of the fun with these puzzlers is the frustration of solving. Googling an answer is usually sufficient enough with games of this ilk and (as a general rule) by the time you have actually trawled the internet for the answer you probably could have spent the time more productively and reached the conclusion all on your own!
What Do Points Make....
High scores are accumulated by speed of level completion. A countdown clock will be activated once a diamond has been collected and to keep the score high you simply need to quickly complete the level. I should also add here that if you do feel the need to use the rewind button becasue you have made a mistake your score will automatically reset to zero and your level will remain unscored no matter how quickly you complete! Time played, distance traveled, points scored, diamonds collected and a whole host of other trivia regarding your personal game. This is particularly useful if you wish to repeat a game to beat your personal score or if another player would like to attempt a puzzle. The downside is that any play will be added to your stats as opposed to a new account as this is deemed a one player game but at least with any replay the content on the levels is restored to the factory settings so you do get a full game again and repetition is nothing to worry about as you probably won't remember the solutions!
**** Overall ****
One could be forgiven for assuming this platform puzzler is a game aimed at children. Cute cartoon graphics and a visually pleasing ladybug in the lead role would certainly arouse a child's interest, however, the child friendly animation and Apple's 4+ rating is somewhat misleading as their score refers only to the content and not the actual game play, which on face value appears pretty straight forward but in fact is deceptively challenging. Patience, dexterity and a great deal of thought is required to master the, at times, fiendishly difficult levels and whilst a child may grasp the synopsis and controls relatively quickly most of the puzzle solutions in my opinion would be too advanced for them to finish. With all the levels pretty much the same (exceptions of backgrounds and puzzles) the game should feel repetitive but infact the reality of playing is quite the oposite as the individual levels are challenging even though you are just turning boxes the game is by no means boring.
Winner of an IMGA (International Mobile Gaming Awards) and deservedly so, as the game is rich in content and has a real likability factor. A universal game that any age (ideally teenage upwards) and any ability can grasp, play and enjoy. It's addictive, it's fun, it's frustrating. it's fantastic. The current full version (1.3) is compatible with the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad and was available sometime ago as a free download but is now back at being priced at 59pence, excellent value for the content which includes over eighty unique puzzles and more than fifteen hours of play. A HD version is available but restricted to the iPad only costing £1.79.
**** Additional Information ****
Other Features: On line leader board and recorded achievements
Last Update: January 2011 (fixed video freeze bug and stats bug)
Compatibility: iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad
Requirements: iOS 3.1 or later