iOS Roundup: Traveling to distant lands

October 3, 2011

This week, we’re looking at an update of the classic Another World and an adaptation of the unplugged game Ubongo.

Another World (Universal): The iOS platform has become a haven for point-and-click games. There have been updates of ’90s classics, new versions of Telltale’s games and even originals like Swords & Sworcery. It’s also been a nice place to see platformers, from Sonic ports to originals like Rolando. Another World, also known as Out Of This World, always felt like a merger of the two genres, with platforming elements and the urge to explore your surroundings to figure out what to do. It’s atmospheric. It’s stylish. And we haven’t seen much like it since.

The iOS version supports “high-definition visuals,” which is a blend of higher-res backgrounds and highly-filtered elements. We’ve seen this technique with XBLA games like Guardian Heroes and some 2D fighters, and while those didn’t look that great, this is a more stylized take that’s a bit off-putting but not jarring. (Alternatively, you can just turn it off.) If you haven’t experienced the original and you strive to experience everything gaming can offer, or if you just like recent games like Limbo and Braid or old games like Flashback and Prince of Persia, you should check it out. 4/5

Ubongo (iPad): We’re fond of unplugged adaptations around here, and Ubongo, a game about random block formations and tiny pegs, benefits from a digital version. The game’s similar to things you’ve probably played: you quickly put Tetris-like blocks in place to fill a shape. If that were it, though, it wouldn’t be interesting. The real game is in taking colored pegs at the end of rows, and completing the shape first simply gets you first pick. The winner is the one who has gathered the most pegs of any one color by the end.

Unfortunately, while the game works correctly, it’s not exactly full-featured. The single-player component consists of a short campaign of ten straightforward games, framed by a story that seems like it’s trying to be cute but then lobs the occasional expletive at you. We… we really don’t know what’s going on there.

The multiplayer component is somewhat redeeming, but this is one game we’re hoping sees some content updates in the near future. 3/5