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A year after Casey’s Contraptions took the iPad App Store by storm, Rovio’s returned with their sequel, Amazing Alex (also available for iPad). After the initial release of the former, there was a massive update planned – but never released – to offer an iPhone version for the previously iPad-only game, as well as brand new levels. For all intent and purposes, Amazing Alex is that update, more of a Casey’s Contraptions 2.0 than a stand-alone title with unique gameplay mechanics.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t a little disappointed with the lack of innovation upon the successful existing formula. Amazing Alex offers the same great features from Casey’s Contraptions, especially the great physics puzzling action of the original.
In each of the game’s 100 levels, players complete Rune Goldberg-like puzzles with everyday objects, creating a visually captivating chain reaction upon solution. Unfortunately, it’s essentially the same game we played last year. There are three stars scattered about to aim for, and once a level is completed, the solution is shared, where other players can view and compare their solutions with their Game Center friends.
There’s also the ability to create and share your own levels, which puts the tools of creating these elaborate puzzles right in the user’s hands. All of these features were in Casey’s Contraptions however, so while they’re nice to see, it’s nothing all that new.
The game does looks terrific, with all the detailed everyday objects and fun animations while watching each attempt at solving a puzzle. But like the gameplay, there’s nothing that new visually, save for some new level backgrounds and other very minor details.
Amazing Alex (iPhone/iPad) will get lots of downloads – and it’s definitely a perfectly enjoyable puzzler – but it’s nothing more than a rebranding of Casey’s Contraptions. And for a game whose gameplay and level design relies on creativity and thought out strategy, it leaves Alex feeling a little uninspired.