Professor Pym and the Secret of Steam
Steampunk is back on the horizon.
Steampunk is huge across so many different circles. Whether you prefer consoles to handheld devices or pirates over ninjas, chances are a steampunk game still strikes your fancy. Professor Pym and the Secret of Steam is a free-to-play puzzler that makes great use of the classical aesthetic, and it's a charming little ad-supported adventure that feels quite cozy on the iOS platform.
Professor Pym is a tiny little fellow clad in a black bowler hat who's trapped within a particularly narrow passageway where vicious waters continue to rise. As the liquid ever steadily climbs toward the Professor, it's your job to get him out of harm's way. He's holding on for dear life to giant spinning wheels that resemble blue gears, and tapping the screen enables him to jump. Each level finds the player timing jumps from wheel to wheel to get our professor up out of the tunnel he seems to have fallen into and to safety -- to somewhere much drier, for sure.
As Professor Pym clings to the rotating wheels for safety, you must tap the screen to time his transition into the next spinning safe haven. The water level can be followed by simply glancing at the gauge at the left of the screen, and as long as you get the professor to the top before it catches up, you're golden. Occasionally, you'll run into certain obstacles that will impede your vertical progress (or at least slow you down) like flames or daunting spikes, but your real enemy is how precise you can be, as well as how fast.
If you want to improve your chances at a higher rating by the end of each stage, aim for the coins scattered throughout each one. You can potentially earn up to three stars from your acrobatic prowess with Professor Pym. Higher rankings are quite simple to achieve with minimal mistakes and maximum coinage.
As with any in-game currency-driven action puzzler, a glut of in-game power-ups are available to get you on your A-game, as well as leaderboards so you can see exactly where you rank with the rest of the world. It's all standard fare, but the main draw of the Secret of Steam certainly relies on the fact that it's simple, free, and quite a bit of fun. Professor Pym is an entertaining, light-hearted protagonist and the steampunk aesthetic is quite attractive, especially for a free app.
If you're looking for a fast-paced action puzzler that covers all its bases, Professor Pym and the Secret of Steam is a fantastic choices -- especially if you're on the fence about the genre, Try it out, but don't be surprised if it eventually becomes your gateway drug into some decidedly more expensive endeavors.