TwinGo!, a simple grid-based puzzler developed by SpaceNoize and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. Despite an all-too-easy first set of puzzles and the absence of move counters, TwinGo! more than makes up for its shortcomings with clever designs and the elemental make-ups of the twins playing an important role.
- Fun, cartoon visuals and smooth animations
- Simple swipe mechanics
- Collectible stars and special maneuvers based on elemental make-ups
- GameCenter and Crystal integration for global leaderboards and achievements
- Takes a while before the game gets challenging
- No move counter
You control Natsu and Fuyu, who have lost the stars in the sky and must retrieve them via a series of puzzles. To do so, they must be rolled simultaneously around a hovering grid, collecting 3 stars spread around each level and landing each character in its goal space to move on to the next puzzle. You’ll need to navigate 105 levels across 4 worlds, with the early puzzles being super easy and latter puzzles requiring some trial-and-error and serious thought. Swiping in any direction on-screen will move both Natsu and Fuyu one square in the corresponding direction. In order to separate the twins, you’ll need to use barriers to prevent the movement of one of the pals. Soon, additional items will present themselves for use in getting the twins to their goals, such as moveable crates. Special stars affect the twins in significant ways. Rainbow stars will freeze Fuyu in place for one move, while Natsu can perform a double move if he contacts one. This even allows him to hop gaps without plummeting to his demise. Obstacles like cracked floor tiles, oil slicks, and more present challenges to avoid. Your final level score takes into account the number of stars collected and the number of moves taken, though the latter doesn’t have any type of running indicator to show you exactly how many moves you’ve taken. It’s an annoying oversight that significantly diminished our enjoyment, giving us no feedback to our performance other than badges for Best Moves or New High Scores at level’s end. We would have liked to know how we were doing during the level to decide whether to restart without finishing, only to find out that we failed to improve upon our previous attempts.
Graphically, the art style is colorful and cartoonish, and the animations are simple and smooth. The puzzle design does eventually get challenging, but it takes a while to do so. The soundtrack is bubbly and arcade-like, matching the happy look and feel of the game. Controls are strictly swipe-based and very responsive. Replay value is low, given the lack of performance info present in the game. It’s enjoyable for the first playthrough, but there’s little reason to return other than to grab any missed stars. Hints and solutions are available if you get really stuck. GameCenter and Crystal integration offer global leaderboards and more than a dozen achievements to earn. TwinGo! is a 4-Dimple universal app that’s available for $0.99.