Posted by: iRob in iPad apps, iPhone apps, iPhone apps - 1$, Reviews
Gameday, Inc.’s new adventure title, Help Purple, has the look and feel of a quality game right from the start. This adorable, silly, and surprisingly challenging narrative brightens up the App Store’s collection of adventure game offerings considerably, and will probably brighten your day as well.
Help Purple introduces you to the brightly colored, peaceful-seeming land of the rainbow gods. Each color of the rainbow is represented by a little single-eyed fellow, and each possesses its own magical power. Unfortunately, all of these critters—okay, they’re gods, but they’re such cute little things, it’s hard to think of them as such—have been captured by their insatiable foe, Huge Monster. All except for one—Purple. It’s your job to explore the terrain that is Huge Monster and rescue them.
The goal of each stage is basically to leave—the path to the exit will be blocked, hidden, or otherwise inaccessible. To get through, you’ll have to explore the area with taps and slides until you’ve uncovered the puzzle. Then you’ll have to put the pieces together, combining, moving, or affecting items to clear or create your path. When you encounter one of Purple’s pals, you’ll have to extract it from whatever predicament Huge Monster has created. Once you’ve done that, you’ll also acquire the friend’s particular color power (as Purple’s power is the ability to absorb other abilities). Help Purple is more of a puzzler than an action title, though you’ll be dropped into mini-games that are a little heavier on action, too. But even then, the game’s controls are really just about tapping items, or sliding to move them.
Help Purple is a breath of fresh air in the App Store. Unlike rigid puzzle games, typically repetitive casual games, or controls-focused action titles, Help Purple feels surprisingly organic. Each stage is unique from the last, with a new problem for Purple to solve. For example, one stage requires you to feed a flower so that it blooms, revealing the exit. To do so, you’ll have to collect what magical flowers that grow on evil monsters need, apparently found within a variety of clouds, and in a giant pink rock (egg? I don’t know what that thing was). In another, you’ll need to cut a cloud (moored to the ground) loose to fly away on. You’ll also have to build stairs, melt ice, and MacGyver together doorways to help Purple progress. While my initial impression was “what is going on in this game?,” once my initial confusion was resolved, it became fun. Treat Help Purple’s challenges like real life problem solving (okay, real life problem solving with rainbow gods, monsters, and magic powers) instead of a typically boring, repetitive video game routine, and you’ll find the zone.
It’s not only the free-thinking gameplay design that makes Help Purple so darn charming. Visually, the game has enormous appeal. It’s creative, polished, and just plain fun to look at. Purple has a variety of cute wiggles, sounds, and reactions. The character design is nothing we haven’t seen before—happy, artsy, bright—but it’s nicely done, and the soundtrack is soothing, rather than intrusive.
Help Purple retails at $1.99, but there’s a pre-launch sale happening as of this writing, which brings it down to a cool $0.99 in the App Store.