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One Little Bug....One Epic Adventure!
Beyond Ynth (iPhone Application)
Member Name: savvyshopper6476
Beyond Ynth (iPhone Application)
Date: 01/06/11, updated on 03/06/11 (200 review reads)
Advantages: Stunning graphics, unique game idea, simple controls
Disadvantages: Too easy to access the walkthrough
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
Summary: An addictive puzzler with a unique gameplay that will keep you entertained for hours
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