Furmins review (iPod/iPhone)

February 17, 2012

“Hey you, what do you see?
Something beautiful, something free?”

10 word description: Physics based puzzler. Arrange items, reach exit. Over 70 levels.

As you know, there are no straight lines in nature

10 word review: Pretty and playable, if not entirely original. Some tricky puzzles.

You will like this if you enjoy: “Place objects to bounce characters to exit, optionally collecting rating boosting items en route” style games. Come on, you know exactly what I mean, there are loads of games like this. Drop The Chicken is a good example. Fans of Cat Physics and iBlast Moki would also find lots to like here.

The very first thing to do is go and unlock the x2 multiplier. Otherwise you're going to be replaying all the levels you played before you got it...

The good news: Very pretty. Note, I’m reviewing the iPhone non-Retina version, not the universal HD version. Good music and varied, atmospheric sound effects. Control method for the object placement phase (hold and drag) and the tap actions while the level is running are reliable and accurate. Pinch zooming is smooth and useful. Puzzle design is good. Almost all the levels can be unlocked before real money needs to be used in order to unlock some of the later bonus levels (assuming you’re capable of 3-starring everything).

It's very pretty, even in basic non-Retina form. There's no arguing about that

The bad news: Why can’t all the levels be unlocked naturally by earning stars/coins in the game? I worked out how many stars could be earned (with the x2 multiplier enabled from the start) and there just aren’t enough to unlock all the level packs and all the bonus levels. I don’t know if this is deliberate, an accident that will be rectified, or a failure of my calculating skills, but the fact that I felt the need to calculate the point where the IAP would be necessary tends to take some of the fun out of  the game. Here’s a tip – don’t start unlocking the individual bonus levels (in level pack 8) before unlocking level packs 4, 5 and 6 because you might find yourself unable to unlock those level packs due to running out of stars/coins.

Arcadelife verdict: Overall, it’s a polished and very nice looking game. You do need to 3-star pretty much every level with the x2 multiplier enabled in order to be able to play all the locked level packs without spending more real money. I found the level solutions to require rather precise object placement and tap-timing, making a 3-star victory more a process of applying tiny adjustments than conquering a puzzle through ingenuity. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; games like Cat Physics bring that kind of micro adjustment very much to the foreground of gameplay and there’s a definite market for competitive point chasing in physics puzzlers, even if the only competition is your previous best score. It’s a shame, then, that Furmins doesn’t have a points score for each level; the best you can ever do is get 3 stars.

Clearing a level awards you a nice firework display

Although I’ve emphasised a couple of things that struck me as negatives, it really depends on your point of view and your feelings about paying to unlock existing content within a paid-for game. The game itself is a more than worthy addition to the iOS physics puzzler collection.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8.5/10
Audio – 8.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 8/10
Final rating – 84/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

Furmins website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)

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