So much more than child’s play
Crayon Physics Deluxe offers the kind of gaming experience that would have seemed woolly and indistinct before the iPhone and iPad came along. Presenting garners with simple crumpled piece of paper, the app takes somewhat of a flight of fantasy, imagining what it would be like if doodles of various kinds on screen could come to life. Not in Scribblenauts fashion you understand — that would prove perhaps a little complex — more as a Rube Goldberg-inspired, physics-based machine. Only one made out of a few crayons and a child’s spare time.
The overall goal is simple: guide the red ball-shaped outline to a small star, via a series of bumps, collisions and rudimentary swinging contraptions. Once drawn, each object will conform to the laws of physics as you’d expect it to. Anything square shaped will land on a surface and stay where it is. Anything slightly more spherical might roll on its merry way. Anything drawn onto the sheet before players have anything to do with it broadly stays as it is. Coming from a recognised videogame publisher, it’s no surprise to see levels adopt traditional design tenets, gently easing players into the core concept before expanding later on.
Whether it’s a series of angled platforms, inviting looking hooks onto which large weights may be attached, or just advice scribbled directly onto the background, getting lost will be a matter of special talent. In addition to 50 diverse levels that will doubtless eat up a handful of disparate hours there’s a useful (if poorly explained) level editor, which sadly offers no method to export your creations but nevertheless allows players to share challenges around the office or lunch table. If you’re looking for a slightly more long-term gaming experience then, this offers one of the most pleasing iDevice options.