Aiko Island, a cute physics puzzler from Iceflame, is now available from the app store. Featuring simple, one-touch gameplay and a ton of levels at launch, Aiko Island is a great option for casual game fans.
Aiko Island Pros:
- Cute cartoon graphics and nice physics engine
- Sugary sweet soundtrack
- Intuitive touch controls
- Play for speed or efficiency to earn cookies
- GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for leaderboards and achievements
Aiko Island Cons:
- Unskippable tutorials
- Timer begins on its own rather than with first touch
The backstory involves two races of fuzzy creatures fighting over cookies. The evil red Aikos stole the cookies from the blue Aikos, who require your help in retrieving all of their treats. There are 4 worlds that encompass the 126 available levels, though even more are teased to be available in future updates. Each level requires you to eliminate the red Aikos either by popping them or causing them to fall off of the board. Any blue Aikos who are present must remain on-screen or you fail. Red Aikos are removed by tapping on them, though not all can be eliminated in this way. Some have armor, so you’ll need to eliminate environmental objects to cause them to fall off of the map. Alternatively, some blocks can only be eliminated by popping them rather than forcing them off-screen. Progressing through the game will bring a number of new elements into play, such as cannons, explosives, and much more. Successful completion of a level earns one cookie. A second cookie is earned for meeting or besting the target number of moves, which correspond to the number of taps used to finish the board. A third cookie is given for completing the level within a certain time frame. Fortunately, these goals need not be met within the same attempt, giving the game some decent replay value. Additional replayability comes from continually shaving hundredths of seconds off of your best times.
Visually, the cartoonish graphics and bright colors should appeal to all gamers. Animations are smooth and simple, and the physics engine allows for some challenging level designs. The level maps are full of locked levels that require you to complete previous levels or earn a certain number of cookies to proceed, though there are several forks that give you the option to choose which level you play next. This eliminates the likelihood that you’ll get stuck on a particularly difficult level with no other recourse. The soundtrack is cheery and pleasant, at times feeling like the score of a kid-focused PG movie. Controls are responsive and intuitive, requiring only taps to destroy the red Aikos. Multi-touch is supported to allow you to destroy Aikos simultaneously. As levels become larger in scope, you can also drag the screen to pan around and pinch to zoom.
Replay value is good, as GameCenter and OpenFeint integration allow for global leaderboards for total time in each of the 4 worlds, as well as all levels combined. There are also nearly 3 dozen achievements to earn. The amount of gameplay available from the get-go should keep gamers busy for a bit, and the expected additional levels will only serve to increase its value. At a launch price of $0.99 (the HD version is available for a launch price of $1.99), Aiko Island is a worthwhile 4.5-Dimple challenge.
Aiko Island Review,