I think I can safely say, without causing too much distress to our fine readers, it is a truth universally acknowledged that Chillingo makes pretty good iOS games. They also make chuffing loads of iOS games - seriously, I've not even finished Pro Zombie Soccer yet - so it can be pretty hard to keep up with what's happening at the prominent mobile publisher.
During gamescom 2011, however, Chillingo took residence in a corner of EA's frankly gargantuan business area - EA acquired Chillingo last year for a rumoured $20 million - to showcase five of its upcoming mobile highlights.
This enticing puzzle-meets-platformer borrows the aesthetic of Limbo and mixes it with elements of Cut the Rope and World of Goo. The goal is to guide a cute little eyeball/blob/thing from point A to B - hoovering up as many gleaming blue orbs as possible, naturally - but the twist is that you indirectly control the character by manipulating the environment.
You can push and pull the scenery to ping the little guy forward and back, for instance, as well as stick him to ropes and tentacles which inevitably must be used to guide him in the right direction. Later levels promise other features, such as wind tunnels.
There will be 60 levels available at launch, with a trio of blue orbs to collect per level - which must surely be a fundamental design tenet of iOS gaming by now. Getting to the exit in the initial batch of levels never proved particularly problematic, but actually snagging all the orbs proved to be a feat beyond me.
Oh, and the whole monochrome world seems to have some sort of eerie eyeball obsession thing going on. If you frequently partake in shady hallucinogenic substances I would give it a pretty wide berth, to be honest.
Roll in the Hole
So many iOS titles revolve around consuming items, but Roll in the Hole takes it to its next logical step: you play as a panda so impossibly rotund that his only viable form of movement is to roll his bulbous physique down a myriad of traps, chutes, and platforms, all while gorging on lollipops along the way.
I can't help but feel that perhaps he should be laying off the lollipops? I'm also fairly sure it's an eerie premonition of how I'll end up in my forties, actually. What kind of a message is that?
Still, the momentum-based levels provide some amusement, though Roll in the Hole follows the conventional structure of short levels with three collectibles each. Like I said, that's basically the first law of iOS development.
I do find controlling the panda a little difficult, though, but I think that's the point - he's very sensitive, and even a couple of misplaced flicks will cause him to roll off the edge of the platform and to a presumably certain death.