iPhone App Review – Cut the Rope: Time Travel

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If you asked people to name a game for the iPhone which has attracted a huge following, spawned several sequels, has a lovable main character, and even has a range of plush toys dedicated to it; you’d most likely hear Angry Birds in reply. Except it’s not the only one, as ZeptoLab’s Cut the Rope has attained a similarly rabid following. This week has seen the release of the game’s third sequel, entitled Cut the Rope: Time Travel.

Like the previous games, it stars Om Nom, the cute little green monster who needs to be fed candy. This time he’s travelling back in time and in each new location, he’s joined by a friend. Guess what? It’s another cute, green monster who desperately needs his candy too. This new character is a major change from earlier Cut the Rope games, which have always seen Om Nom going solo.

The original Cut the Rope was hugely enjoyable, and quite different to other titles when it hit the app store. The second game, Cut the Rope: Experiments, was equally successful, but not quite as enjoyable; mainly because the difficulty level had been ramped up, and some levels were much too tough. For Time Travel, the concept remains the same, however Experiments’ ridiculously high difficulty has been toned down.

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Each level sees some candy suspended from a string, chain or even floating freely, and it must be guided to Om Nom and his pal, both of whom are waiting expectantly on their own platforms. This is done, unsurprisingly, by cutting ropes, but not always ones attached to the candy. Sometimes it’s to chop the chains using little spinning blades, other times it’s to drop mines to send the candy flying in a particular direction. You also get to use tools to help guide the candy, including bubbles which rise to the top of the screen, or whoopy cushions to blow the bubbles or the candy around the screen.

Scoring is decided by how many stars you collect on each level. There are three scattered around the screen, and they’re collected by the candy on their journey to Om Nom’s mouth. If you fail to get them all, you have infinite retries until you manage it.

If you’ve played the other games, you’ll realise there’s nothing new here, as the gameplay has been largely unchanged – except everything has to be synchronised to ensure both candies reach both Om Noms. The addition of a second monster adds another dimension to the gameplay, and rather than being confusing or annoying, it makes the levels even more satisfying when you set off the right chain of events. Cut the Rope: Time Travel has an uncanny ability to make you smile, whether it’s Om Nom chomping through a candy (then having a nap while you complete the level) or the delightful way he tries to resist being time-zapped into a new stage.

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As mentioned, Time Travel is easier than its predecessors. Quite a lot easier, actually. Experienced players will have no problem getting three stars on each stage, and usually on the first try too, indicating the game is aimed at younger fans who perhaps didn’t enjoy Experiments. If a level proves too difficult, you can use Om Nom’s super powers to help complete it, where he uses telepathy to guide the candy home.

You get three super power chances to start with, but this figure can be increased by spending some money on in-app purchases. Do you need them? No, not really, as a bit of practice should see you completing most stages without help. Although as you need a certain amount of stars to move on to later levels, scraping through with one star may be a problem later on. There are six themed levels – ranging from a pirate ship to ancient Greece – but they don’t really change outside of the design and the costume worn by Om Nom’s friend.

Cut the Rope: Time Travel is a return to form for the franchise, and we absolutely love it. Yes, it’s a bit easy, and it’s a shame the app isn’t universal; but it’s only £0.69, and we know ZeptoLab’s good for providing timely updates which add new levels, making it good value in the long run. After the annoying Experiments, Om Nom is back in what we think is his best outing yet.

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