As we play offers the thought strands of the reviewer as they’re going through the game. This offers unique content for the reader so they can come to understand the conflicting feelings of the reviewer as they’re playing a game for the very first time. All feedback on this concept is welcome.
To Begin With…
Crikey, the cinematics are much more animated. Om Nom is full of expressions. The whole thing is crisper and the resolution is much sharper
Same goes for the backgrounds. They’re more animated with twinkling stars and effects. The graphics have significantly improved and that’s clear, even on a 4S screen. The app has, of course, been optimised for iPhone 5.
Om Nom’s eyes even glint if you collect all stars, and whenever he sees the candy coming in his direction, the monster goes a bit crazy and snaps outwardly with his jaws.
This time, all factors are considered and time taken, stars collected and style are all counted towards final score. Medals are also given for special challenges. So, for instance, the game may ask you to just get two of the three stars.
As you get deeper into the game, the much-lauded microtransaction model rears its head. Don’t work a level out straight away? The game offers you 2 free level solutions which you can use at any time. More can, of course, be purchased at any time.
Also during levels, if you get stuck, you can actually get a limited run of additional items. For instance, if you pop a balloon and you can’t move anywhere, you can actually use one of a limited batch of spare balloon on your candy or Om Nom and suddenly be back in the game. This, of course, goes back to in-app purchases as once they’re gone, they’re gone and you’ll need to buy more.
Still, i’m going to go against the grain and say I like how ZeptoLab have added these in. They’re not in your face, they’re subtle and cleverly done. I’ve seen so many major mobile releases literally force micro-transactions on a player, ocassionally necessitating them to purchase something in order to proceed, and it’s not right. Where’s My Water 2 and Plants vs Zombies 2, in particular, have been the worst offenders, and both games have recognised their mistakes and changed their policies.
Cut the Rope 2 has taken a more relaxed approach and I think that will be to its benefit. People are still paying for the app, and many would much rather spend the initial 69p, than get a free app filled with ‘Buy Me.’ ‘Get me now.’ ‘You shall not pass unless you buy me.’
Lessons to learn for all the big companies, I feel.
Om Nom has brought some mates
So, your first experience of a Nommie is Roto, a little buzzing helicopter-like dude.
In their first meeting, Om Nom actually slides from the top of the screen, tumbling down to the bottom, but conveniently falls into Roto. The propeller like-creature – who is significantly smaller than our doe-eyed green, toothy lump – grabs onto the green-cutey’s cowlick and moves Om Nom across a white dotted line. From this position, the player has to tap Om Nom so he falls into the candy.
Again, nicely introduced by Zeptolabs. The first 10 levels represent Cut the Rope at its most traditional. Pop a balloon, cut a rope so the candy swings in one direction, use the environment. But just when as players get used to that rhythm all over again, BAM, the style completely changes.
This will, unquestionably, make the action that much more dynamic and players will now be forced to pay attention to the game, otherwise they’ll lose out.
The next level does things slightly differently. Now Roto is teasing Om Nom by holding a piece of candy swinging between ropes. Roto won’t let the candy go until you tap it, but once you do, you’ll be back to the game you know and love, a piece of candy swinging on rope. Slight, subtle changes, building up to a bigger, more diabolical challenge.
The quirky creatures keep coming as well. One dude sticks out a bridge-like tongue that allows Om Nom to move between locations. This also allows candy to freely roll around the screen.
Then there’s Blue. Keep tapping him and he’ll multiply. You can basically create a tower of blue and move all around the map in that way. This produces some nice scenes. You can make platforms for candy to roll across, or use the towers to hold planks in place. Some nice creativity on display from Zeptolabs.
Is change a good thing?
I’ve found Cut the Rope 2 to be more addictive than the original, and, in many ways, a big improvement. Cut the Rope was a very standard idea, but this is evolved and much more entertaining.
My one concern is that I’m breezing through levels – admittedly, not really going for the three stars – and it isn’t taking me very long. I still want to go back and accomplish everything, thus giving me more time with the game – and based on previous experience, you know additional levels will be added overtime – but the puzzles do seem relatively easy and not much of a challenge at this point. By the time you’ve gotten used to a character, you’re moving onto the next. I’d love to see a full on mash-up at the end where the player has to use all of Om Nom’s friends in one level. That could be pandemonium. The stage has certainly been set.
Cut the Rope 2 is a genuine successor to one of the biggest intellectual properties on the market today. Om Nom’s Nommies really shape the game, offering smart new ways to play, but not completely changing the core foundation of the product. Cut the Rope 2 feels as fresh and entertaining as your first moments with the original game, and are not just a simple rehash of what works.
While many bemoan the inclusion of micro-transactions, they’re never forced into your face and are never essential. That said, they can be very useful and effective in getting the most from your game.
Cut the Rope 2 was a genuine surprise for me, a pleasant one at that. The premise of the game is still at the most basic level. You’re still feeding candy to a monster, but the entire experience is rewarding from start to finish and I’m very excited to see what additional content will be offered in the coming months.
Well worth your 69 pennies.
Time Played: Five Hours