We talked about Rube Goldberg in a game I reviewed a few days back. Amazing Alex takes off from where we left off in Apparatus. Both involve the basics of physics, both are about building objects from the simplest things around us, both have a goal (a basket here to begin with), but Amazing Alex makes it a tad more fun because it’s all through the antics of a young boy and chain reactions with objects that we see around us every day.
From Alex’s bedroom to his tree house, we are taken on a ride of fun and lateral thinking creativity. Yes, both can come together and be fun, as games that ask you to experiment and find solutions so amply prove.
It helps that the creators of the game aren’t strangers to this kind of combo. Amazing Alex comes from the labs of Rovio who gave us Angry Birds to begin with. They fine-tuned indie Snappy Touch’s Casey’s Contraptions and launched it as this physics puzzler.
Say hello to Alex. The young boy is mischievous but to temper that, he has a Zen for the creative. To play along with Amazing Alex, you have to hop over to the Google Play Store or iTunes and download the physics puzzler [No Longer Available]. The game is available for free (ad-supported) and as paid ($0.99). I am checking out the paid version for Android 2.1+ here. But games for both platforms are exactly alike.
Amazing Alex brings you into his world. You begin the journey in The Classroom. The Classroom is where the game is taught to you. Amazing Alex is about putting together commonplace objects and making them interact with each other in a physical way so that a puzzle can be solved. For instance, the screenshot below shows common objects around a class (or a house) – benches, a carton, a football, and a basket. The objective of the puzzle is to assemble the objects in such a way that a chain reaction can be started that will place the football into the basket.
Another level could look like this:
The interactive objects are all available with a click on the little briefcase icon on the lower right. You can click on the play head button on top-right to see the path of the ball (or any other moving object) and check your contraption for faults.
Locations, Levels, and More Objects to Build With
The Classroom handholds you through the first stages and makes it seem so simple. It is simple, but things get a wee bit challenging as Amazing Alex moves out from the classroom. Amazing Alex has to meet the puzzling challenges across four locations – The Classroom, The Backyard, Alex’s Bedroom, and The Treehouse. Then there are featured levels every week, levels you can download, and before you cross over to boredom, you can create your own levels. To go to the next level, you have to complete the challenges in the preceding one and collect three stars.
In all, there are about 100 levels and 35 interactive objects for you to play with. Featured levels and fan created levels keep away the bouts of sameness. What’s interesting is that there can be more than one solution to the puzzles. You can use interactive objects like pipes, scissors, and even balloons to solve the puzzles. There is no time pressure, so you can take your turn around the clock. Whether an absence of a timer is a good thing or a bad one is purely subjective. I personally like to solve my puzzles in a relaxed frame of mind. Then, the more advanced levels here get challenging and involve some amount of touch dexterity.
Amazing Alex Is No Angry Birds
Very few games can eclipse the popularity of the piggy and avian craze. Amazing Alex does not come close. Though it involves collapsing objects, the physics based game is not a projectile launching one. You have to use a bit more of your brain. The one problem I have with this game is universal to any Rube Goldberg styled game played on a small screen – it gets more difficult to accurately place the objects as the game advances. It’s far better on a tablet like the iPad. Amazing Alex is also not as advanced in terms of machine assembly as the earlier reviewed Apparatus, Crazy Machines [No Longer Available], or even Enigmo [No Longer Available]. Though, it is more pleasing to the eye with its colors.
As long as you don’t expect the successor to Angry Birds, and can enjoy brain gnashing with puzzles, Amazing Alex is a worthwhile recreation. We have it on our recommended Best Android Games page. Have you played Amazing Alex? Your feedback matters.