Appletell review – Labyrinth for iPhone

Sections: Features, iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod touch, Reviews

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LabyrinthGenre: Arcade
Developer: Codify AB
Seller: Carl Loodberg
File Size: 0.6 MB
Requirements: iPhone 2.0 software
Compatibility: iPhone and iPod touch
Age Rating: 4+
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2

LabyrinthLabyrinth Lite is a game I’ve been recommending to everyone I know who owns either an iPhone or an iPod touch. And why not? It’s fun and free, and a free demo gives you a chance to find out if you would like the paid version of the game or not. The full version costs $6.99. Here’s why I bought it, and why you should too.

Labyrinth is a simple game that uses the iPhone in ways other game systems just can’t replicate. Neither the Sony PSP nor the Nintendo DS can sense motion the way an iPhone can, so it’s better suited for motion controlled games. Labyrinth is one of many such games.

Labyrinth Calibration UtilityAccelerometers are the only controls in this tabletop marble maze game, and are they sensitive. This definitely takes some getting used to. You only have to tilt the iPhone or iPod touch a tiny bit to direct the marble around the maze. Thankfully, there is a calibration utility to make sure that what really is level is recognized as such by the device. Like I already said, it’s very sensitive, so your smallest hand movements will be reflected on screen. It gives the game a very real feeling, like the iPhone actually has a marble on top of its screen.

The frame rate of this game is high enough to keep it feeling real too. Around 60 frames per second, to be specific. I never noticed any lag while the marble was moving; just smooth motion. The game auto saves, so you can leave the game and come back to the level at which you left off. You can also navigate through completed levels by loading the desired level pack, tapping the screen, and then paging back or forth to select a different level.

Labyrinth Level SelectionThis brings me to one of the most compelling reasons to buy the full version of Labyrinth: the seemingly endless supply of levels. Levels are created by the community and updated from time to time. Currently, there are over 500 levels to download and play. You can add levels by touching the plus sign on the level selection screen and downloading individual level packs, or all level packs that you don’t already have. Users can create their own levels, which are just SVG image files formatted a certain way, but I couldn’t find out how to submit the levels to be downloaded by all. The “How To Make Levels” page on their website is due to be updated with new instructions soon.

The developer, Codify AB, has been updating Labyrinth regularly, fixing bugs and adding features. Since first being released, physics simulation of the ball falling in the hole, and the ability to get out of a hole if you just hit the edge fast have been added to the game. You can expect the game to gain more new features in future editions. Here’s a list from their site of the top 10 requested features. While this isn’t a guarantee on any specific feature, it’s a sign of good things to come.

  • Sound.
  • Tactile feedback.
  • Option to delete level packs.
  • Dynamic shadows.
  • Themes.
  • “Ghost ball” to compete against yourself.
  • Difficulty setting: Acceleration sensitivity control.
  • High score by level.
  • 3d-walls, changing perspective when tilting phone, test successfully implemented.
  • Waypoints to collect before finishing a level.

I really like the way the developer is handling this game. I’m so glad there’s a demo version, so you don’t have to trust what I say about this game, you can try it for yourself. Plus, updates are regular, and the developer is listening to what the users are saying by fixing bugs and adding features. I hope to see the level creation possibly get easier, and with a new “how-to” going up soon, it’s possible. I also hope new versions of the game will support more than just horizontal and vertical block, and why not circular holes as well?

All around, it’s a great game that I think is worth the price of admission.

Appletell Rating:
4 Appletells out of 5

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