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Incoboto is a new puzzle platformer for the iPad, from developer Fluttermind. It’s a solid and challenging game with a pretty good learning curve in which you discover why all the stars in the galaxy seem to have gone out. This game turns the charm up to eleven with its art, soundtrack, and very well done humorous writing. Incoboto isn't perfect, and the touch controls leave something to be desired, but it’s still a definite keeper for anyone who likes a good head-scratching puzzle and unique mechanics.
You play as Inco, a lone boy in a universe of darkness. All of the suns seem to have gone out, except for one childlike sun named Helios. By collecting various little star pieces and feeding them to Helios, he’ll build up enough energy to open the sun-gates and teleport each of you to a new cluster of planets. These planets are full of machinery and messages left behind by The Corporation, a mysterious group who seems to be behind all of this death and destruction. Hopefully, you can eventually uncover the mystery and light up the galaxy once more.
The touch controls work simply enough. Touch the screen on either side of Inco to move him left and right, and swipe up while moving to jump. You can also add in some left and right buttons on either side by switching control options, and I found the button controls to be much better. Often the platforming requires some precise timing, and it just doesn’t sync up with the slight delay in the imprecise controls. This can lead to frustration, but those segments are few and far between.
As you progress through the planets, new gadgets and gear become available, and Inco is able to throw objects, scan them, use jetpacks and sun beams and much more. The puzzles themselves can be really tough. Luckily, there are plenty of dead bodies and Corporate messages to help you along. The Corporation is very reminiscent of World of Goo, combining the Corporation and the Sign Painter of that game into one entity. Do the opposite of what the Corporation says at all times, and scan just about everything for hints and info, and you should be able to figure things out. There are definitely a few stumpers though.
The art and music are all very atmospheric, charming, and quite moody. This is really a very somber and tragic story wrapped up in extremely lonely gameplay. Helios is not only the brightest asset on the screen at any given time, but he also brightens up Inco’s life and our moods with his carefree, whimsical demeanor. The game is very similar to World of Goo in spirit, as they both focus on challenging puzzles, unique aesthetics, and a great emphasis on witty and funny writing. OpenFeint achievements are also supported. This iPad exclusive will one day be released on the iPhone according to the developer, but until then, you can pick it up for the introductory price of three dollars at the time of this review. Definitely don’t miss out on this one.