Gaming on a smartphone or tablet has become everyone’s favorite pastime. Granted, gaming consoles and PC games aren’t going to be replaced anytime soon. But with HD displays and getting-more-powerful-by-the-day processors, we are seeing a growing number of graphic-intensive campaign-style games. However, it’s always the “simpler” games like Angry Birds that are, at least for now, more suited for touch-based gaming on handheld devices.
We’ve all witnessed the incredible popularity of games like the Angry Birds series, Cut the Rope, Temple Run, and Where’s My Water. Rovio is now stepping away from the familiarity and guaranteed success of another Angry Birds iteration, to release another physics-based game. There’s now a new kid on the block, literally, and that is Rovio’s Amazing Alex.
Alex is described as “a whiz kid with a boundless imagination and a houseful of fun toys that can turn anything into an adventure.” The storyline basically amounts to a kid stuck at home, who decides to use household items and toys around him to create Rube Goldberg machines “for fun.” In case you were wondering, a Rube Goldberg machine is a purposely over-engineered system, contraption, or device, that completes very simple tasks in a very complicated way.
If this concept sounds familiar, that is because it’s based on “Casey’s Contraptions,” a game released for iOS devices, before being bought by Rovio, and subsequently renamed. Fortunately, Casey’s Contraptions never found its way to Android users, so Amazing Alex is still “new” for us.
I have to mention that while I do love Angry Birds as much as the next guy, it was refreshing to see a game start up with the Rovio logo that is NOT another Angry Birds iteration. That being said, Amazing Alex does have the “classic” Rovio feel, with a short introduction followed by a home screen featuring the prominent play button we’re all familiar with.
Hitting play takes you into a, again similar, left-to-right scrollable menu with a list of stages, or in this case, locations. Locations, for now, include Classroom, The Backyard, Alex’s Bedroom, and The Treehouse. Of course, Rovio’s track record with Angry Birds suggests that these “locations” are only going to increase in number in the future.
Four locations with over 100 levels means that you’re not going to be done with this game anytime soon. Each level features an objective, such as dropping a ball in a laundry basket, while trying to collect 3 stars. To help you along the way, you have various items such as shelves, tennis balls, boxes, scissors, etc. that you need to align or angle correctly. Once you have everything set up perfectly, you can hit play to start of a chain reaction, that will hopefully complete the objective, while collecting 3 stars.
You can check out a Clayton’s video review of Amazing Alex here:
As Rovio’s latest offering, Amazing Alex is bound to be compared to the unimaginably successful Angry Birds series, and that is where the problem lies. Angry Birds has a way of capturing the audience, which Amazing Alex lacks. And I think it all comes down to the storyline. One is a story of revenge, and a fight to return what was stolen. The other is a boy trying to clean his room. You tell me how that sounds.
Yes, the comparisons are unfair, but this game seems to lack the “It” factor that Angry Birds is all about. Of course, Amazing Alex has been available for only four days now, so it’s definitely not fair to arrive at any conclusion already. Thinking objectively, Amazing Alex is creative, challenging, and a lot of fun to play, and everyone should certainly give Alex a chance.
What are your thoughts? Is Amazing Alex Rovio’s “next big thing?” Have you played Amazing Alex yet? If you have, let us know your experience in the comments section below.