Zip—Zap: “Bring the Clumsy Mechanical Beings Home”
I’m not much of a mobile gamer. I enjoy playing games just as much as the next nerd, but the need to use a touch-based interface isn’t particularly appealing. I’m used to the freedom afforded by a keyboard and mouse, or a controller. Every once in a while, however, a game comes along that fills a niche for me that I didn’t know even existed — quick, fun gameplay that would help pass the time that I spend on a tram or a bus. Podcasts work just as well, but every so often, you feel the need to do something. If I were to say that Zip—Zap filled that need, I would be selling it short. This game has made me forget I even had podcasts cued up.
Zip—Zap has big shoes to fill. Phillip Stollenmayer’s games are almost always hits, with pretty much all of them consistently keeping a 5-star rating on the App Store. Observers and developers alike will testify to that being an extremely rare feat. Two minutes into the game, however, and I could easily understand why. Unlike other puzzle games, Zip—Zap doesn’t take itself seriously. There’s no overarching story, nor is there a character for you to identify with. No, there are just Mechano-like articulated pieces on your screen that need to be moved from A to B, or are needed to move other things from A to B. They use the simplest possible interaction — tap to contract, release to expand. Using elementary, and exquisitely detailed physics, the game transforms these interactions into movement. Gameplay is absolutely simple, and a delight. The game offers over a hundred levels, and has no IAP. There are almost no messages, other than a couple of helpful and hilarious ones. I’ll not reveal them, so you, dear reader, will get the chance to experience them first hand.
Don’t let the simplicity of the interaction fool you : the levels start getting tricky the more you play. You’ll need to do some trial and error, but you’ll figure out the solution soon enough. If you mess up, simply swipe from right to left, and the pieces reset their position. There’s no penalty for getting it wrong, no ‘Purple Coins’ for doing exceptionally well. It’s all lighthearted fun, and I absolutely love it. The music is well chosen, the colours are cheery, and the reward is priceless – commutes have never ended quicker for me.
Zip—Zap is a gem, and a game I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending. Pick it up for $1.99, with no IAPs, from the App Store.