As many of you already know, Amazing Alex is (or was) Casey’s Contraptions. I was a little doubtful of them taking on another franchise, but I was wrong.
“From cleaning up his room to battling cardboard robots in his backyard, Alex creates amazing chain reactions to get the job done with the maximum amount of fun! Now he has some challenges for you — and he wants to see the most creative solutions YOU can create!”
Now that Rovio has gotten its hands up, if theres one thing that has gotten an improvement, it’s the presentation department. Not that Casey’s Contraptions ever looked back, on the contrary, I quite liked the hand-drawn look. However, Amazing Alex ditches that for a polished cartoon like style, and adds Alex – a generic looking kid.
There is no actual story, but it does add to the presentation, especially since the game now has a super catchy theme. Another thing that changed is that Amazing Alex is that it is no longer just iPad, it is now cross platform. You’ll be able to enjoy Amazing Alex on iPhone, iPad, and even Android devices, and it looks great (at least on the iOS devices we tried it on). Speaking of cross platforms…
Now that the game isn’t iPad only, you’re probably wondering how the controls handle on the smaller iPhone screen. If you played Casey’s Contraptions, you remember that you sometimes required multi-touch input for things such as rotating.
Luckily, this is another area where Rovio came in and made things simple, you can now do everything with a single finger. You can tap or drag the items from your shelf to where you want to place them, and rotate them just as easily. Again, this is not an area Casey’s Contraptions had “problems” with, but Rovio has managed to improve it.
Although the gameplay is exactly the same as with Casey’s Contraptions, we’ll touch on it briefly for those of you that didn’t have a chance to play it. The idea to meet the goal of each puzzle while collecting up to three stars. Of course, by just looking at the screenshots a couple of you are easily able to compare it to a Rube Goldberg machine, where one thing activates another, with all the items in motion ultimately leading to you meeting your goal. It sounds simple, but it’s harder than it seems.
The game comes with 100 levels, which Rovio has kept level-for-level from the original IP. Not enough? Don’t worry, the game is very social. Players can design their own Amazing Alex levels, and upload them for others to download from the website. Another neat social feature is the ability to see how your friends have solved the particular level you’re in, since you know, there’s multiple solutions, and levels can be hard sometimes.
Although the difficulty can feel like a roller coaster at times, gameplay wasn’t really something that needed improving in Casey’s Contraptions, which is probably why Rovio chose to leave it untouched. Why fix something that isn’t broken?
Being a fan of “The Incredible Machine”, I had a fun time with Casey’s Contraptions. So how does Amazing Alex stand in comparison? There wasn’t really anything broken for Rovio to fix, only areas to improve. In this case, I really liked the new controls, since they’re a lot easier and require less effort than those in Casey’s Contraptions.
And while some people may not get behind the new art direction, it wasn’t a problem for me. I think Amazing Alex is a worthwhile replacement, especially now that it’s available on both iPad and iPhone. 8/10.