iPad App Video Review: Rinth Island

by Andrew Koziara

Rinth Island is a new puzzler from Buzz Monkey Software, published by Chillingo. It's a fairly well designed game with a wide range of difficulty, simple graphics and aesthetics, and an easy-to-use level editor. There are a few overly frustrating puzzles, and the whole game has a trial and error method of play that can get irritating, but overall I'd highly recommend it to any puzzle fans.

Your goal in each level is to collect a specific object by pushing crates and boulders around a cylindrical tower. They also introduce cannons and explosives that destroy certain blocks, and much more. You can't climb up or down a level unless ladders are in place, so moving everything in just the right way is crucial. The whole game is built on an invisible grid of tiles, so it's simple to figure out how things will react to your actions. These are the kinds of puzzles where a single incorrect move can completely mess you up and force you to start over.

Each level can be played four times with four different objectives, one being normal completion for the adventure mode. Another is crystal mode, which asks you to collect varying numbers of crystals before completing the levels. These often force you to rethink your process and look at a level in a different way, and were very satisfying. The other modes are step and timer, which ask you to complete the level in a certain number of steps or within a certain amount of time. I'm having Portal flashbacks over here! You really can't afford more than a handful of missteps in step mode. You don't always have to restart a level when you mess up. There is a rewind function, but it's very limited. Once you use up your rewinds, they're gone for good unless you unlock them permanently with a one dollar in-app purchase. It can get tedious restarting levels again and again, but I didn't really mind it so much.

The game also boasts an easy to use level editor, with players being allowed to upload their creations to the games online section. Because of the tile based nature of the engine, this editor really is quite easy to use and rather diverse, letting you mix and match puzzle elements and differently themed blocks as you see fit. This definitely extends the life of the game immeasurably, although the quality of user created levels will obviously vary quite a bit.

All in all, I really enjoyed this game. The puzzles were simple a lot of the time, but a couple serious brain busters are thrown your way in each level set. The simple 3D graphics and the fun music made it all even more enjoyable. My only complaint is that the game can be hard to see clearly on an iPhone or other smaller iDevice, hence my use of an iPad. It's tolerable but annoying. The app is iOS Universal, so if you've got an iPad, definitely play it there. Being a Chillingo game, the Crystal achievement and leaderboard network is featured and is synced with Game Center as well. Rinth Island is available for one dollar at the time of this review. It's a solid game all around, and I definitely recommend it.

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