Squirmee and the Puzzling Tree ($0.99) is a very challenging entry into the puzzle action genre. If you're looking for an app that will test your timing as well as your patience, this one might be for you.
The premise is quite simple: You control the orange blob, Squirmee, as he attempts to rescue his stranded sister, Pink, atop a giant tree. If nasty saw blades and diabolical traps weren't enough of an obstacle to rescue her, she needs help fast, and time is the measure of success on each stage.
The controls are both very simple and precise in this app. The only control inputs are a tap or a swipe . . . that's it. The clever part about this is that the tap and swipe might accomplish different things in each room. For instance, on one stage, the tap and swipe might stop and reverse your Squirmee character respectively. On the next stage, these gestures might stop and reverse all or some of the dangerous items in the room, with trial and error as your only guide as to how each room will work.
The puzzles are both inventive, and, at times, extremely difficult. I found myself nearly breaking into a nervous sweat while trying to navigate the last section of a difficult room. It's obvious that despite a cute exterior, the heart of this game is devilishly tricky, and not really geared to the youngest of players. In fact, there are sections that will likely give even expert gamers fits.
To break up the action a bit, there are even boss battles, so to speak, which add a little humor to the mix. This coupled with the recently added “Skip” button for the extra-tricky levels, helped to keep me hooked and coming back for more. This latest addition, especially, will keep many players from deleting this app in frustration. Have I mentioned yet that this game is difficult?
For those looking for a serious challenge coupled with a clever control mechanic, Squirmee and the Puzzling Tree might be just the app for you. For those who are hesitant, give the free Squirmee Lite version a try first. I don't think you'll be disappointed.