App O’ The Mornin’: Cut the Rope: Experiments

Grade: A

Price: $1
Cut the Rope is one of the few games to challenge the dominance of Angry Birds in the hearts and devices of app gamers. Cute, clever, and insanely addictive, it combines a wonderful puzzle mechanic with an appealing visual style to make a knock-out game.

Cut the Rope is one of those rare games where the title is also the instruction manual. In a series of single-screen puzzles, hanging objects function like pendulums. You need to cut the ropes at precisely the right time and in exactly the right sequence to get the object where it needs to go.

In this case, the problem is how to get a piece of candy into the mouth of a voracious (yet adorable) little monster named Om Nom. Each puzzle has three stars and a piece of candy.  Cut the rope with a finger swipe, and the candy collects the stars as it drops into Om Nom’s mouth. It’s fairly easy to get the candy into the monster’s mouth, but to get it there while collecting all three stars can be incredibly challenging.

The original game came with 4 sets of 25 puzzles each, and more sets were released with updates and holiday packs. In the first full-blown sequel–Cut the Rope: Experiments–the initial set of puzzles functions as a recap of the entire first game.  All of the many puzzle elements are re-introduced: balloons, whoopee cushions, spiders, rubber bands, ropes, and so on. 
There are only two other puzzle sets: “Shooting the Candy” and “Sticky Steps”–for a total of 75 puzzles. This is fewer than the original, but updates are promised.
The new gameplay elements are certain to appeal to CtR Fans. The targeting button shoots a rope to the candy as it swings. This rope can be of various lengths depending upon how far away the candy is when you fire. If the candy is swinging close to the rope shooter, the rope is short; if it’s further away, the rope is longer. 
The other new element is the suction cup. Tap this cup, and it comes loose from the “wall” of the puzzle and begins to drop. This allows you to reposition ropes, creating far more variables on each screen.
These new features are run through their paces in two sets of twenty-five puzzles each, creating complex variations of the familiar CtR gameplay. Lvels are of consistently high quality. The basic solution usually isn’t all that hard, but earning 1, 2, and 3 stars can be brain-bendingly difficult. There are some I simply couldn’t solve at the 3-star level no matter how many times I tried. That’s a good thing: it means the game is still challenging, which keeps it interesting.
It is a bit disappointing to have only 75 puzzles and 2 new elements, but there’s more than enough here to keep things fun and fresh, and the updates give you something to look forward to. Cut the Rope is one of the best puzzlers in mobile gaming, and Experiments only further cements its reputation.
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