Based on first impressions, you would be forgiven for thinking that iBlast Moki is a Loco Roco clone. However, look past the 2D solid-colour graphics and the cute blobs with eyes, and you will find and experience a completely different game.
If I had to compare it to existing games out there, then it would have to be a mix of Lemmings meets Enigmo. It has the ‘get the creatures to the exit’ gameplay (in this case Moki’s), combined with the physics based tools necessary to get them there.
There are 70 levels in all, across various themed lands. With the object of the game to get the required amount of Moki to the level exit… presented in this case as a swirling vortex.
As with Lemmings, you do not directly control the Moki, instead they must be forced from their slumber by strategically placing bombs near them, to propel them towards the vortex. Luckily for them the blast doesn’t harm the Moki, and only causes them to let out a slight wimper.
As you place a bomb near the Moki, an arrow appears showing the resulting trajectory. As well as this you can set the time that a bomb will explode, buy tapping the bomb and turning the revealed timer wheel. Timing is hugely important, with many puzzles requiring you to set up a chain reaction of events in order to get all Moki to the exit in one go. Once you are happy with your solution, you hit the bomb icon. This sets the level in motion, and hopefully you will be successful. Should you fail, it’s back to the drawing board… however, you can simply press the bomb icon again, and all the elements will morph back to their staring points. This allows you to tweak the level without starting from scratch. It’s a good feature, especially when you were so close to your goal and the difference between success and failure may only be moving a bomb one millimeter to the right, or setting an explosion to ignite just a few milliseconds later.
Despite the title of the game, it’s not all bombs. Later levels introduce rope, bridges and balloons. You can tie a rope to a balloon and the other end to any other object, this is particularly useful for moving objects that are in the way of the Moki’s path, or lifting Moki’s themselves. A well-placed bomb will pop the balloon and send the Moki back down to earth and on it’s merry way.
Bridges can be stretched and linked with other bridges or rope, to form larger structures. And these can also be fixed to screws and wheels to create cantilevers and swings. If you have played Moonlights, then you’ll be right at home here.
Just as you thought the levels could not become more devious, they throw more Moki’s at you to save and give you more limited amounts of tools to save them. While there is no doubt a right way to beat a certain level, you may find a quicker or in some cases a more difficult route, but as long as you get to the exit, it’s all good. Excel at beating levels quicker though, and you will be rewarded with a silver or gold medal.
Once you have unlocked the required amount levels of any given world, you will be transported to the next. You can play levels in any order, so should you get stuck you can opt to tackle it later. The 70 levels included offer many hours of puzzling enjoyment, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. iBlast Moki features a full level editor, allowing you to build mind bending levels to challenge your friends. Simply drag and stretch the objects into place, set the amount of tools allowed and you can save and upload them to the developers server, for everyone to play. Much like Little Big Planet on the PS3, you can search user created levels by recent, top rated or most downloaded. The data involved to store and build a level must be minute, as each time I downloaded one it was playable immediately.
Presentation & Graphics
While the in-game graphics themselves are nothing new, and borrow heavily from Loco Roco, the game as a whole is wonderfully presented, from the menu system to the simple touch based interface.
Sickeningly catchy music, and a great selection of sound effects for the Moki’s and tools at your disposal. The ability to play your own tunes would be nice, however.
Mind-bending puzzles, with multiple solutions, combined with fantastically intuitive touch controls, which are some of the best I’ve seen on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The 70 levels are worth the entry price alone. Add the level editor and online user generate content into the mix, and the replay value is off the charts.
iBlast Moki is a real gem amongst the bulging amount of rough in the AppStore. It’s a must-have. The game is available for $1.99 on the App Store, visit Godzilabs website: www.godzilab-games.com for more information.