Angry Birds wasn’t the first “sling an object to break a structure” game. There were others well before it (specifically Crush The Castle) but Angry Birds took that and packaged it in neat graphics, cute characters, slight variations to gameplay and — the most important aspect, in my opinion — the perfect level of difficulty. That’s what TripTrap hopes to bring to the iPhone and iPad, all over again.
It has all the makings of a contender for our best iPhone games list, there’s plenty of levels and it’s wonderfully addictive. It’s time to meet Trip Trap.
The lead character of the game is a hungry mouse named Ched in search of some cheese. And he’ll probably seem familiar to you — the guy is clearly inspired by Jerry from the Tom & Jerry cartoons. In fact, the whole colour scheme and art style of the game will take you back to MGM’s classic cartoon series. But hey, that’s not a bad thing! Ched’s movements and facial expressions add a lot to making the game more fun, so I’m not complaining.
Ched can walk on any surface, even upside down. He sits still at the start of each level, but tap the screen and he starts moving. And once Ched starts moving, he doesn’t stop till he reaches the exit door. The objective in each level is to eat all the cheese and get to the exit without dying.
Ched has the unique ability to jump from one platform to another that is parallel to it. This is activated by tapping the screen. You’ll need to use it often to solve the labyrinth-like puzzles. There’s also the ability to make Ched run faster by holding a button in the bottom-left corner, which is also required to finish some levels.
Simplicity, success-failure, progress — all of the things that make Angry Birds so addictive are replicated well in TripTrap.
Who Moved My Cheese
The quest for cheese will take you across four worlds: the kitchen, the living room, the gym and the garage. Each of these has 20 levels with three cheese slices in each level. You’ll need to eat a certain number of cheeses to be able to unlock the worlds. Also, once you eat all the cheeses in a world, you unlock the “puzzle mode” for that world, where you get to replay all the levels with only a limited number of jumps.
Each of the worlds has its own unique way of making your quest for cheese harder. In the kitchen, cheese will be covered by lids, so you have to move them off the platform — once the glass crashes, you can go down to eat it. The living room sees wind-up cat toys prowling around to beat you up.
The gym makes your life more difficult with treadmills to slow you down or speed you up. And the garage adds electrical fences that switch on and off periodically. Finally, after a point, the cheese features a ticking timer before they go rotten, so you need to rush to eat them.
But despite all this, at no point does TripTrap seem too difficult to handle. It’s not an easy game, but it’s not the hardest either; it’s just right. It might take some time, but you’ll always be able to solve a puzzle.
There is one thing to aid you: a helmet that protects against spikes and cats. One helmet is good for one crash only and while you earn these helmets in the game, but they are far and few in-between. TripTrap tries to make you pay for these, but it’s not necessary — you can get through the game without giving away your money.
Worth A Buck?
TripTrap costs a dollar on the App Store and I’d say it deserves that, but given that it’s a paid app I would have liked an easier way to earn more helmets without spending money. Despite the in-app purchase, TripTrap is an enjoyable game. You can safely let kids play or have a go yourself for some mind-bending fun. And it looks lovely on both the iPhone and iPad to boot!
Download: TripTrap ($0.99)