Watch out for cat heads in this kooky balancing game from Touch Village.
There's an outside chance that some folks will take Touch Village's new iOS release, Chin Up, the wrong way. After all, the game stars a tiny Asian man by the name of Mr. Chin, who possesses a stereotypical voice ("so srippery") and whose health shows up as a bottle of soy sauce; this changes, depending on location. Ah yes, and one of the levels takes place at the Vatican.
Whether or not the developers crossed some imaginary line(s) remains to be seen, but we know this much: Chin Up is damn good. There's a crazy learning curve, especially as you move on to tougher stages, but it's the type of deceptively easy game that has us hungry for more. The fact that it's free for a limited time also helps.
In it, the goal is to keep construction worker Chin perfectly balanced on a platform as it quickly rises higher into the sky, and you do this by carefully tilting the scaffolding left and right, preventing the nimble little guy from plummeting into the abyss below. Easier said than done, since you must remember that you're in control of the platform and not Mr. Chin (a similar philosophy to Sega's Super Monkey Ball games).
What makes matters worse are the plethora of items raining from the sky, and Touch Village definitely let its imagination run wild coming up with objects. After all, the list includes severed cat heads, Chinese finger traps, sticks of exploding dynamite, tanks, bonsai trees and goldfish, and that barely scratches the surface. You'll also encounter yellow birds with homing attacks.
Absorbing hits depletes Chin's health, while things like dynamite belong nowhere near him. What ensues is a balancing act, as you attempt to avoid nasty bumps on the noggin while sliding dangerous things off the platform. At least on the positive side, a handful of power-ups (shields, life-saving balloons, item-clearing kung foo attacks), save Chin from doom, at least momentarily.
It's the sort of app that quickly grows on you, largely because you want to achieve the best score possible while at the same time seeing all this game has to offer. Things get weird quickly, with Chin spouting one-liners and more nonsense appearing on-screen. Not only that, but the sheer variety of stages keep things fresh, as you crisscross the globe to places like London, Paris and the Vatican, whereupon which that soy sauce becomes a cup of tea, a bottle of wine and, from what we can tell, the cup of Jesus Christ. Oh lordy.
The only thing that hurts Chin Up's appeal is the aforementioned difficulty spike, and while Touch Village uses in-app purchases to tempt players into unlocking more levels, it would be much better to ease off the virtual beat-down just a bit.
Of course, the more you play, the further you'll progress, even if it means a few more seconds with each try. All told, Chin Up is the sort of thing we'd expect from Adult Swim (that's a compliment) and, for the most part, it's very addictive. Just remember to view this one with an open mind.
What's Hot: Unique stages and a variety of items to dodge, pushes the envelope, has sharp-looking and detailed graphics.
What's Not: Crazy spike in difficulty.