Spirits for iPad [rating: 4.5/5]
Spirits for iPad is a re-imagining of an incredibly popular, and iconic game from the early 16 bit era. In Lemmings you instructed a group of the game’s furry namesakes to dig, climb, fall, explode and even Umbrella fly their way across a level, until they reached safety or perished.
Spirits takes up where that genre of game left off. Perhaps, one might even imagine, with the “sprits” of the Lemmings you failed in that game from an earlier era!
Although its easy to see the similarities between Spirits and Lemmings, the guys and girls at Spaces of Play have really re-imagined the game. And they’ve gone a long way to add some unique concepts of their own, and re-create this game in a way that works superbly on the iPad.
Whilst spirits walk, sometimes float, and can dig, they are also able to control the wind around them. Which is handy, because most levels are constructed so that wind currents on the map are working against you. You can see wind currents in tunnels on the level as particles caught in the air waft around. So one of the abilities that you rely on in your spirits is the ability to have one or more of them block or create wind. All of a spirits abilities are activated, as you would expect, by touching them, and choosing from a little easy to use menu that pops up.
You play the game by directing your spirits from a start point to an end point, which is a swirling whirlpool. Once they arrive at the whirlpool they’re sucked in to what is, presumably, safety. And you score! The idea is to get as many home safe as you can.
Because the spirits can get blown around by the game’s wind, and that created by their own kind, some solutions can be very satisfying as you setup a sort of perpetual motion production line getting Lemmings (oops!), spirits through the puzzle. Once it’s running smoothly you can watch the last few go through the “spirit-chain” of helpers you’ve created. Sometimes this involves them wafting around the screen very satisfyingly on air currents.
The initial maps are quite easy, which is a good way to introduce the game to everyone. They do get more complex. But I would have preferred a steeper difficulty curve myself.
Each level map is larger than the iPad screen, so you must make use of pinch-zoom and scrolling to see all of the map. Which makes the game feel big, in a good way.
Everything that happens in the game is beautifully animated. Spirits drift, and fly, as well as blow wind themselves, and walk around kind of like slightly doddery penguins as they navigate the map on foot.
Music and sound effects really enhance the Zen like quality of the game as it’s all classical tracks, with real instrument sounds signalling events. The look and feel, as well as the music and animation all seamlessly gels. Its a realy pretty game.
If you are competitive, don’t worry, there are the usual global ranking tables and so forth.
And if you are a Lemmings fan then this is the best game in the App Store at the moment in that genre.
Spirits is in the same class of app as Osmosis. It’s great to look at, polished, and fun to play. A must have game if you like platforming puzzlers.
- Gameplay is smooth and simple.
- Pretty graphics and animations.
- Music really complements the game’s mood and style.
- Could do with a little more variety.
- Early levels are a bit too easy.
$4.99 (View in iTunes Store)
Released: Nov 11, 2010
Seller: Mattias Ljungstrom
© Spaces of Play, Mattias Ljungstrom
Requirements:Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later