Chillingo invites you to go back to the future to solve puzzles in the present. Whoa.
Chillingo's released so many physics based puzzle games that it's become somewhat comical. At least on the positive side, most deserve your attention.
Case in point, Civiballs. Yes, it has one of the worst titles in history, and sure, it doesn't serve as a benchmark for iPhone and iPad graphics. It is, on the other hand, smartly designed, engaging and a lot of fun.
First, ignore the story, which is some whacky yarn about a nerd who opens a portal into Roman, Viking and Inca time periods, and for some reason feels compelled to complete those aforementioned puzzles. It's silly.
Instead, focus on the spot on gameplay. The goal is to drop balls into pots of the same color, meaning red balls go into red pots, green balls into green pots and so forth.
To do this, you must set various things in motion by cutting chains, which normally result in balls swinging back and forth (if held by two chains) or crashing into things. At the same time, it's in your best interest to do this as quickly as possible, since you receive 999 seconds to complete each puzzle. On top of that, the developers scattered gems around the area, and snagging all of them boosts your score.
Success heavily depends on cutting the correct sequence of chains at the right time, whether that means dropping a green ball into a catapult or firing a crossbow (or cannon) at the exact moment.
That said, solutions may take several moments to figure out, so expect plenty of head scratching as you make your way through 60 mostly challenging levels.
Just don't expect much in the way of eye candy. The basic 2D graphics fail to thrill, while the three unique backgrounds (while distinct looking) don't necessarily capture the respective time periods as well as we would've liked.
In this case, though, it's all about the gameplay, and we can proudly say that Civiballs delivers. Definitely one of this week's surprise games, and well worth your hard earned cash.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
What's Hot: Sixty interesting levels, spot on physics, catapults and crossbows.
What's Not: Forgettable story and main character.