Based on an award-winning Flash game, Backabit’s Ramps (out now, $2.99) has been tweaked and enhanced in all the right places for its iOS debut. And once you spend a little time with this endearingly back-to-basics puzzler, it’s not hard to see why almost a million people found themselves hooked on the title’s well-observed brand of fast-paced, physics-based problem solving.
Ramps’ premise is pretty straightforward, at least at first – the idea is you’ve got to get a bug-eyed bouncy ball from point A (a dispenser) to point B (the exit) by placing ramps around the 2D environments for it to roll along. Likewise, the control scheme here is delightfully intuitive. Ramps are repositioned and rotated by touching and dragging a finger along the screen, while a tap is all that’s needed to spawn a ball.
Things may start out at a relaxed pace so as to allow you adequate time to get to grips with the controls and concept, but Backabit soon, ahem, ramp up the difficulty level. As you progress through the game’s 2 worlds and 100 levels, you’ll also have to contend with outlandish obstacles like robotic piranhas and evil penguins armed with snowballs. Extra challenges, such as attempting to collect hard to reach coins, also add an extra incentive to tackle stages numerous times.
It does get a bit repetitive, but all in all, I really did thoroughly enjoy making my way through this wacky and inventive game. Well designed levels, a perfect physics system and the cartoon-ish graphics (a marked improvement over those of the Flash version) impress, while a chiptune style score only adds to the title’s pseudo-retro charm.
Now, I usually try not to let an app’s price-tag impact on my review, however it’s worth noting that at a cost of $2.99 Ramps does seem a bit on the steep side considering you can pick up the widely acclaimed likes of Angry Birds or Tiki Totems 2 for less than half that. Then again, as it stands, this is a polished, well presented and enjoyable game, and Backabit are committed to adding more content and features in the future, so, if you’re on the market for a fun physics puzzler, this little charmer is still a sound investment.
iFanzine Verdict: If you can overlook Ramps’ rather hefty asking price, the game will provide you with hours and hours worth of challenging retro-esque physics puzzling fun. Looks and sounds fantastic too!.