APP OF THE DAY: Pudding Monsters review (iPhone)
Everyone loves dessert, or pudding as we like to generalise in good ol' Blighty. And Monsters are fun too, aren't they? Pudding Monsters - made by Zeptolabs, the creators of the acclaimed Cut The Rope app - pretty much had us sold on its wacky title and studio credentials alone.
If unfamiliar, then you're in for quite the treat; a treat of epic, er, portions and one that's as pretty looking as a French Fancy. And yes, there will be dessert puns galore...
Pudding Monsters is no stranger to the now common game app recipe. Take one single-screen level concept, add a "three star scoring system" and make things progressively harder as levels progress.
Upon initial download Pudding Monsters offers up 75 morsels of sweetness, which will increase in future app updates.
The concept of the Pudding Monsters is simple: Slip and slide your jellified dessert protagonists in straight lines around the tabletop so that they join into one giant shaped pudding. However, if there's nothing blocking our gelatinous heroes' paths then, well, kersplat - it's "game over, no dessert for you, go straight to your room" disappointment.
But coming back for seconds is greatly rewarding. The first few levels are hand-to-mouth easy, but quickly become more taxing. Yet never do they sour like leftover milk; the difficultly isn't gauged on just whether you can complete the giant pudding shape, it's also whether you can assemble it over the designated trio of star sections.
In order to "three star" all the levels you'll need to come back for more than just seconds, though. Some will take a lot of plotting and working out before they're completed. And even then, many levels can be completed with just one, two, three or, indeed, no stars - it's likely you'll get a lot of two-star finishes before cracking the complete solution for each level. Even then, to be crowned the, ahem, queen of puddings, you'll want to complete each level with every possible star score to receive a crown symbol. To get a crown on every level is the ultimate total solution goal.
But it's not as easy as pie. Far from just the basic puddings, there are sticky ones that can create wall-like stoppages for your standard puds, hypno-puds that act as dopplegangers, as well as pudding-less eyeballs that need to be reunited with their jelly bodies before they can be utilised. Each adds a different dynamic and difficulty to levels.
Like most decent apps that you can dip in and out of, Pudding Monsters is the perfect design for commute play, or just the occasional bit of fun. Our only moan is that load screens can take a couple of seconds longer than we'd like. Still, that didn't stop us polishing off the whole game in one (admittedly rather long and occasionally fraught) sitting.
Pudding Monsters is to puzzle games what a tarte tatin is to puddings - classic, visually striking, difficult to get right, and with that slightly wacky "turned out upside down" angle to keep things fresh. Top banana.