iBlast Moki delivers a blast of a time

Posted: September 17, 2009 in Physics

One of my favorite shows growing up was MacGyver who without fail could fashion a running motor out of a rubber band, paper clip, and a carbonated beverage. While most of us are probably not physics experts, the iPhone/iPod Touch platform has proven to be an ideal venue for physics-based games. Of course, finding a game that will keep you engaged for a while is a whole different matter. But whether or not you’re a physics fan, iBlast Moki may be the game you’re looking for that combines fun looking visuals, lively music tracks, and most importantly, challenging gameplay.

After planning to spend a few minutes with the title, I quickly lost myself in the world of Mokis, and I think you will too. Visually, iBlast Moki has impressive graphics and animation that run lag free on my iPod Touch 2g 3.0. And the physics are well implemented for the simple fact that things behave and feel natural. It’s apparent that the devs spent a good amount of time developing and producing this game.

Using a variety of tools, you’re tasked with getting mokis to the exit portal. It’s not as simple as it seems because these portals are usually located in inconvenient places surrounded by different hurdles and environmental conditions. The mokis are cute and relatively helpless, and it’s their hapless situation that tests your noggin.

The game consists of 70 levels spread over 6 worlds—Mokiland, Blowingland, Waterland, Mountainland, Induland, Mokitozor. Mokiland is the only unlocked world to start, and in order to unlock others, a minimum number of puzzles must be solved in the previous world. The different terrains throw different curves at you, and since you’re limited in the tools at hand, success requires a bit of planning and trial and error. Presented in a tool bar along the right side of the screen, items available for use include some combination of bombs, rope, bars, wheels, screws and balloons. Keep in mind that bombs can be set with a time delay before exploding. Not all of the items are always available, and in some cases, you literally have one item to work with. To place items, you drag them off the tool bar and place accordingly.

To help you along in this moki journey, you can pan the levels by dragging the screen as well as pinch to zoom in/out to get a better look. Honestly, I found myself using the puzzles as an excuse just to check out the scenery.

Within each level, you have the opportunity to earn a gold, silver or bronze medal which initially is based on time, but eventually evolves towards collecting flowers. Daisies can be found in the levels, and part of the challenge is to have your moki collect the flowers on his or her way to the portal. Miss all of the flowers, and the best you’ll do is earn a bronze medal. One nice touch is that you can always go back to re-play unlocked levels to try and improve your score.

As for the gameplay, it’s pretty straightforward and even includes several boss levels which are both fun and challenging. As you place items, a ring appears around the item which you can use to rotate accordingly. A trajectory guide also appears that shows the projected movement or direction of the moki based on the placement. While you would think that this helpful tool would make things easier, you’d be wrong. On occasion, I did find it difficult to rotate items especially with bombs since the ring can be used to move the item as well as set a delay timer on the impending detonation. As I mentioned, this game involves a fair share of trial and error, but your success is rewarded in the game’s achievement system available online through Plus+. These include completing certain worlds, earning gold medals, and boss victories.

While I think that 70 levels will keep most of us content, iBlast Moki also features a level editor tool called Creations where you create your own levels and share them. Intuitively set up, the user community can then download and rate them accordingly.

Overall, iBlast Moki delivers fun and entertaining experience that really reaches a broad audience. The lightheartedness balanced by the difficulty should attract both casual gamers and more experienced players looking for something fresh. This is a solid and well-done physics-based game that should make the devs proud.

Albie Meter: 5 Stars (recommended for puzzlers looking for an entertainting take on the physics-based gaming; high quality graphics with gameplay to match; editor tool should keeping this game fresh)

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