Snuggle Truck, Owlchemy’s physics-based side-scroller, is now available from the app store. After a controversy-laden development cycle that saw the game roar into the gaming consciousness like a lion only to see it peter out in the final hours like a lamb upon release, Snuggle Truck has retained its core gameplay and polished presentation without the stigma of making a political statement.
Snuggle Truck Pros:
- Polished graphic style looks great
- Soundtrack is cheery and pleasant
- Controls are responsive and simple to master
- Wacky physics makes for crazy fun adventure
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Snuggle Truck Cons:
- Somewhat repetitive
- Short levels are easy to go through quickly
- Text is quite small
Snuggle Truck tasks you with driving an open-bed pickup truck full of stuffed animals across an uneven and hilly terrain in order to release them into “the zoo.” There are 40 levels of varying difficulty, and each allows you to earn up to 5 medallions based on time to complete the level and the number of animals transported safely to the zoo. You must earn a certain number of medallions to unlock the next set of levels in a higher difficulty setting. Levels are generally short, lasting a minute or less, so the pick-up-and-play value is present in spades. Levels take place in varying environments, such as open desert, forest, and underground caves. There are both steep and undulating hills throughout, with a number of small bumps and explosive crates of TNT to slow you down or spill your cargo.
The truck physics cause is to react to all of this stimuli, creating several opportunities for you to dump animals out of the truck. You can counteract this to some degree by tilting the device to alter the orientation of the truck while in mid-air, creating softer landings or harsher crashes. Occasionally, a blue fuzzy will be propelled into the air and cause a slight slowdown by design, giving you the opportunity to try to catch it in the open bed. Additionally, a rocket boost can be picked up and initiated for a temporary speed-up that not only makes you go faster, but also places a temporary cap on your bed to prevent loss of animals.
The Retina Display graphics are quite good, and the variety in environments brings aspects like cave ceilings into play that require you to drive more cautiously to avoid slowdowns or animal loss. The truck animations and tumbling animals were fun to watch and everything ran very smoothly. It was a blast to propel animals into the air only to get back into position to catch them. It was also fun to have one land on the hood and maneuver to bounce him back up and over the roof and into the open bed. The soundtrack is cheerful and catchy, a great pop track to enhance the zaniness of the premise. As previously mentioned, the control scheme uses tilt to influence your landing angle, but it uses touch to control speed. Hold your thumb on the right side of the screen to go, and hold the left side of the screen to apply brakes. When you snag a rocket pick-up, you need to shake the device to start it. These were all very responsive and simple to use.
Replay value is pretty good, given that earning all 5 medals in every level will require several replays of many of the latter stages. Finding ways to improve your level time will also give you replay incentive, as you attempt to top the GameCenter leaderboards. Only certain levels contain leaderboards, which are denoted in the level menu. There are 25 in all, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to stake your claim as the best on at least one level. There are also a few achievements to earn, many of which involve catching the pop-up fuzzies. In all, even with the controversial political agenda stripped out, Snuggle Truck remains a fun arcade experience. At $1.99, this is a 4.5-Dimple offering that leaves us excited for more.
Snuggle Truck Review,