These aliens don’t like to stay, good riddance.
Casual puzzle games, and physics puzzlers are selling like hot cakes, iPhones or water in the desert. We seem to crave them in droves, and developers are all trying to find a new way to help us casually spend time with a cute game not really going anywhere. There are a number of brilliant examples that have worked marvels such as Where’s My Water, and Cut the Rope. Cosmic Bump seems to try so hard to make something new, but it never boils down to something really interesting. After spending the hours it provides I can only say I was entertained, but also slightly bored.
Cosmic Bump is a combination of ideas mashed into one with the obligatory cute critter attached to it. In this case we got aliens that are stranded on a weird version of Earth. They have to collect enough energy to take off again from our horrible planet. I guess the7 took some time to watch Independence Day, and E.T. to see how we treat visitors from outer space. Too bad they didn’t watch a number of the obviously stoned A.L.F because then they would probably stick around.
Launching an alien from the slingshot cannon is just a matter of pulling back, aiming and releasing. Unlike Angry Birds, and all the clones the focus is not on aiming or adjusting the power. Instead the focus is on where the alien ends up. Levels have portals, flippers and bubbles that you get to interact with once the alien gets close. A level ends when all energy orbs have been collected. Depending on how many aliens you have left, and time left you are awarded with one to three stars. Aliens die if they hit the ground missing the moving carpet of salvation.
The physics is slightly off in Cosmic Bump, and it feels like the aliens are made out of a gas/water mix making them move slowly. Too often it got itself stuck just spinning on a ledge, and I had to restart the level. Most physics puzzles have exaggerated physics to make the gameplay quicker, but in Cosmic Bump it feels slower. The pinball aspects are quite horrible, and the relation between where on the flipper I hit the alien matters less than it should. Overall it feels wonky, and if Newton was around he would really have to wait for that apple to drop.
Everything about the presentation is pedestrian. The music seems to be taken from a library of casual music that was used in porn movies in the 70s, elevators in the 80s and in hold music during the 90s. It is completely forgettable, and I doubt I will have any clue to how Cosmic Bump looked, or sounded in a couple of months.
Cosmic Bump is a decent casual puzzler if you want something to waste a couple of minutes playing just to remove it when done. There is nothing really memorable, and the only thing I take away from it is the red alien spinning on a ledge due to wonky physics.
Cosmic Bump $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Chillingo Ltd.