iPhoneGlance Rating [rating=3]
Is “Amazing Alex” really amazing?
Rovio, the creators of the blockbuster Angry Birds franchise, has just released their newest “physics-centric” puzzle game called Amazing Alex. This game has had the gaming community waiting with baited breath to find out if lightening has indeed struck twice with another fabulous start to a new, great franchise. The premise of Amazing Alex is he is a messy teenage boy whose mission is to take a number of objects and get them from point A to point B using the tools and gadgets from his room or other environments. Now the graphics are fabulously crisp and clean. But, after playing the game for a couple of evenings, I couldn’t help but ask myself “Why”. I kept playing to see if the levels would get more intriguing as they progress, but sadly, no. The perfect analogy would be sitting through the 2 hour movie waiting for it to get better, until sadly the credits are rolling along.
When I play Angry Birds (and let me tell you I have completed every level, found every egg, killed every pig and monkey, unlocked every bird and found every reward) I am always thrilled when I can beat the smug, smirking little pigs! I have sat in public areas knowing the person across from me, as they move and toss in their seat, really aren’t working but trying to kill the little buggers with the perfect fling. When you fling the perfect black bombing bird and see the building crumble killing the pigs, you have supreme satisfaction. And, if you miss with one bombing bird or wood penetrating yellow bird, you know that Pretty Bird and the rest of the bird battalion is right there to pick up the pieces and get that darn pig.
But with Alex, he’s basically a smart but bored kid that should be outside playing with real people. There is no reason to root for this kid, because you know his Mom is eventually going to tell him to clean up his mess. Amazing Alex needs some sort of bully or monster to play against. There needs to be something in this game that makes you want to defend the honor of Alex or at least understand why he is doing what he’s doing, and support him in his endeavors of taking out the bad guy. The levels are mildly interesting, but are they interesting enough to make people anticipate the arrival of new levels? If you set up the balloons, shelves, and pipes to get the ball or whatever is in the frame to go from point A to point B, and it misses you simply keep readjusting until you complete the task. When you first see the level you have just release the balls to see what the starting point.
Now I ask you, is this fun? When I play a game I want to invest myself in the game. I want to know that I am winning. I want a score, not just achieving three stars. I want to see that I can compete with the guy next door, or the sister who taunts me with her higher score. Amazing Alex leaves me feeling like I am missing something.
My recommendation to the Rovio developers would be to come up either a different “purpose” for Alex to use all his contraptions and puzzles or find a way to make more additions to the Angry Bird’s franchise and skip Amazing Alex altogether . My rating would be 3/5 stars. It’s a good start, but needs a lot of work before it is worthy of the praise and hype it is getting.
Title: Amazing Alex
Price: $0.99 – £0.69
Developer: Rovio Entertainment