In the long list of cutesy iPhone games, Patchmania continues the trend to combine witty and challenging gameplay all the while making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. While for some that may be the true test of a good game, for me it has to hold up on a few other things to get that all important 5 stars. While Patchmania doesn’t make me want to quit gaming, shouting that I no longer need to play another game again, it is a pretty good time consumer, and one of the more original games I have seen on the mobile marketplace in a while.
Patchmania is a simple puzzle game, based on working out the correct routes around a small area. In this case that area takes the place of a farmer’s field, and you, a little adorable bunny eating some carrots. To mix it up a bit, as you progress you will find new bunny friends who hop along for the ride, these provide new challenges and more obstacles to contend with. The introduction to all the new characters and levels provide a welcome sense of accomplishment, as would a cut scene in console titles. The visuals are very easy on the eye and Patchmania definitely benefits from being played on a top range device. That said, if you have a less than perfect screen, nothing will be taken away from your playing experience – but the crispness given on a retina screen makes it feel a lot more classy.
From my time playing, I could really see some of the features being the result of continued testing, and a real thought for the players. Simple things such as tapping to automatically complete the route, rather than waiting for the bunny to hop around it, makes the game that much easier to play. That said, some other things seem to have been missed. For instance, how quitting a mission I have already completed will lose me a life, like the game doesn’t know I have beaten it. It makes no sense, considering there is no punishment for just completing it again. Sure I could do that, but it’s quicker just to quit, and for a mobile game, speed and ease of use have to be king.
So I mentioned lives there didn’t I. Well, Patchmania is free to play and while the game is great at giving you that freedom to not pay any money, they do have a few ways you can hand over the cash. One of these is lives, and like many games you will either have to wait around 20 mins to get more, or you can pay to boost up then and there. You can also pay for hints to help you in certain levels, which can really get you going again if you have been stuck on the same level. I am not going to criticise these like I would normally, you do get a fair few lives to play around with, and I never found myself losing all of them. In the same light, Patchmania gives you a good few hints right off the bat, it’s up to you if you would like to buy more once they are all gone, and again, for me I haven’t felt the need to do.
Patchmania is a fun game, plain and simple. I have really enjoyed sitting down and just having a quick few goes anywhere I am. With more levels than I want to count right now, you wont be left wanting more. It’s simple enough to keep a good flow, but sill throws up challenges every now and again so that you really have to think about the game. It’s for those like me, who like a challenge but a slightly easier one than normal.