At times games intrigue me by having vague App Store descriptions, and Patchworld definitely falls in that category. I had no clue what the gameplay was like after reading the story about the busy Lexie Cut. Searching through my extensive inbox I found a couple of press releases, but still I was at a loss about the actual gameplay. I thought it might be anything from a take on Slice It! to a cut out version of Drawn To Life.
When I finally got to play the game I realized that I had been mostly wrong in my guesses. Patchworld is a game where you trace dotted lines to cut out shapes. Anywhere from three to six individual shapes make up for one object. For example you might cut out ears, nose and body for an animal. Once all shapes are traced there is a cute animation showing what your skill with the scissors has resulted in. It can be anything from the Eifel Tower to a weird bird.
The controls are easy to understand, as they replicate having a pair of scissors. It is obviously much easier to play Patchworld on the larger screen of the iPad. For one you aren’t blocking the outline when you trace the lines. It also seems to be more responsive to the continuous lines being drawn.
The game grades your performance on how precisely you follow the lines, and Lexie gets more followers the better you do. One thing that really bothers me is the fact that you can do really poorly, and still be able to continue to the next level. I have got low grades at about 10 per cent, and the animation using my cut-outs looks really weird.
A timed mode can be unlocked, but it is never clear how this is done. I have finished all the levels in the untimed mode already. Still I see this as a repetition of the same levels again, and not really as something adding anything new. There are also quite few levels in the game, and all of them can be beaten in about 30 minutes if you are content with about 85 to 90 per cent accuracy.
The levels are what make the game interesting, and it is a shame that not all of them are as good. Those dealing with wonders of the World are by far the best, and the worst are the fireworks and soup levels. With the wonders, and ships it is fun just to guess what the finished product will be. With fireworks, and soup it isn’t fun at all.
The presentation in Patchworld is really nice, and comes with a high degree of polish. The music is not that exciting, but it works in the background enhancing the casual nature of Patchworld.
I might be harsh in my review, but I can’t really hide my disappointment. I had expected more from the screenshots, and vague descriptions. It is still a good game for a select audience: kids. My children really like Patchworld because it lets them see what they create, and it is kind of lenient in the rulings.
Patchworld is a great looking casual shape cutter that is a bit too easy for adults, and therefore more suited for children age four to ten. It is a shame since the world created in the game is really cool.
Patchworld $1.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Egg Ball