About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "Super Gadgets" by Starwave

Again, this game doesn't seem to be available anywhere else, so I have to link to Verizon's own listing.

Any way, Super Gadgets is a spiritual descendant of "The Incredible Machine" on the PC way back when Jeff Tunnell wasn't busy with Dynamix flight sims. Jeff Tunnell productions produced a series of games starting with "TIM", which basically gives you a task, like "get cat into basket" or "pop 3 balloons" by giving you a ton of parts to build Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions. Super Gadgets is basically Starwave's version of the game, with their own twists.

First of all, the game is definitely SIMPLER. There are like four "levels", each with about 10 or so puzzles to solve. For each one, you get a rating. If your solution works on the FIRST attempt, you get a gold. Two to three attempts, silver. More, than that, bronze. Each level gives you far fewer parts, and no fancy-shmancy parts like lasers, laser-controlled switches, and so on. Most parts are activated by touch, and don't need a separate plug. No mouse motor and belts to drive treadmills... just drop something on the treadmill and it starts moving. All in all, the simplication does help a bit.

The objectives are as whimsical as ever. Trap the mouse, put the cat in the nest, entice the thief into the trap, drop the bag of sand on the dog, pop all three balloons... you get the idea. However, it's HOW you do it that makes this game challenging. Often, you have analyze the playing field, and see where you need to move to, then plan your gadget activation that way. The first path you see may NOT always be the right one.

Some other cute gadgets have been added. Water faucet (touch activation) set above a "beanstalk pot" means whatever lands on the plant, when something activates the faucet, and the plant gets water, will be raised up. There's the cop and the thief... Cop always chases thief, and thief runs away from cops, but goes after diamonds. Then there's the fancy stuff like anti-grav plate, vacuum cleaner, giant fan, and so on, to send things FLYING.

None of the puzzles are impossible, though some solutions require more tweaking than others. Also, by artificially adding a "rating system" to each puzzle, this seems to go the opposite of encouraging experimentation. I'd perhaps based the score on number of attempts vs. total time taken, but then I didn't design this game.

While the solution can be replayed, they are not "saved". Thus, there's no "record" of you breaking some records or such. However, at least you can relive your own glory... for the short while it lasts, then it's off to the next round.

Super Gadgets is a pretty fun puzzle game, but it doesn't really reward experimentation and off-the-cuff solutions. As such, it can only earn average marks, but that's not too bad in this market.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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