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Pudding Panic Review
Review Score:

Pudding Panic, a quirky haunted house puzzler from Kunst-Stoff, is now available from the app store. If you’ve ever dreamt of leading a lime green Jell-O mold through a fun house, now is your chance.

Pudding Panic Pros:

  • Detailed environments and enjoyable characters
  • Whimsical soundtrack and fun sound effects
  • Responsive controls for easy on-the-fly use
  • Clever puzzle design and special powers tied to in-game currency
  • GameCenter integration for achievements

Pudding Panic Cons:

  • Limited replay value
  • No leaderboards
  • Somewhat repetitive

The lime green Jell-O in question, who goes by the name of J.Jitters, finds himself the unwitting recipient of an all-night pass to traverse increasingly complex mansions full of weird witches, jolting Jack-in-the-Boxes, slinking skeletons, and more. As you are confined to a railcar, your only recourse is to switch up the tracks to influence your path or unleash the few powers you possess, like a wind-up mouse or viper punch to scare off baddies, a speed burst to put some distance between you and your foes, and even a paper bag hood (because you can’t be afraid of what you can’t see). Use of these weapons will cost you, but fortunately there is plenty of the in-game currency to be found on the tracks, as well as a VIP token in each level. Collecting these tokens will give you access to subsequent levels. You’ll also need to wend your way around to trip switches that lower missing track sections into place if you want to find the exit. Suffer too many scares and J. Jitters will be reduced to a puddle of whatever Jell-O is before it’s Jell-O.

There is no need to control J. Jitters, as his cart continuously moves and follows certain predictable patterns. When faced with a fork, the cart will always follow the right path instead of the left. If there is an option to move straight, this will take precedence. When J. Jitters suffers a scare, his cart spins in the opposite direction and he makes haste for a few moments to get away. You can prolong your ability to be scared by sipping a little liquid courage along the way (no, it’s not what you think….. at least, we don’t think it is…. hmmmm….). The puzzles are clever and some will have you riding in circles for several minutes as you rack your brain to figure out which combination of track pieces will get you out of there.

Graphically, Pudding Panic’s 3D look and detailed environments are very pleasing, adding a good deal of charm and character to the game. Animations are lively and fun, while maintaining a bit of the menace you’d expect from a locale designed to frighten youngsters. You do have direct control over the camera during gameplay, so you can look ahead and anticipate your next moves. A button in the upper left will instantly take you to J. Jitters, too, in the event that you have trouble finding where he is after scouting ahead. The soundtrack is whimsical yet fitting with the game’s theme and style. Of course, there are plenty of screams and other sound effects to enhance the mood, as well. To switch tracks and unleash special moves, you simply drag into place or tap the active icons on the right side of the screen. They are large enough not to select the wrong one and we had no trouble activating anything on the first try.

Replay value is so-so, as the enjoyment derived from leading our gelatinous hero to safety should warrant some additional plays of the game’s nearly 50 levels. GameCenter integration challenges you to earn 10 achievements, but there are no leaderboards as there are no timers to beat or scores to earn which could be used for comparison. In all, it’s a concept that feels fresh and fun, making for an enjoyable experience for gamers young and old. At $0.99 (or $2.99 for the HD version), Pudding Panic is a 4.5-Dimple winner.

Pudding Panic Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-07-08T17:52:26+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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