Slice It! Review

Slice It! is a far better game than the review score would have you believe. However, hot on the heels of my recent editorial on the state of the App Store, I have found a new way for developers to abuse the update system: review begging. This foul tactic undermines and undervalues what should be a fantastic game.

Taking the ideas from Just Half and expanding it, Slice It! is about cutting a shape into equal sized parts. It starts out simply enough, with dividing simple shapes in half. It quickly gets more complex, with pieces of unequal size, and dividing into odd numbers. There are even obstacles, like areas a line cannot cross.

Adding to the complexity is a requirement for the number of lines you draw. Each level you are given a supply of pencils – the number of lines you must use to successfully complete the stage. While some stages are beatable with fewer, Slice It! won’t allow you to continue unless you use up every line it gives you.

Slice It!Slice It!

Often this requires making odd shapes, but remember: successful division is based on area, not physical shape. If things get too head-scratchingly tough, Slice It! has a generous hint system that shows you the best solution one line at a time. You can earn more hints by getting a five-star rating after beating a level, or finishing one of the game’s worlds.

Slice It!‘s graphics and sound are very appealing. I supposed I’m a bit of a sucker for the pen-and-paper aesthetic, but the style adds a sense of whimsy to what could be a dull, minimalist presentation (just cutting simple shapes). The looping tune is equally fun, and is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. If the tune isn’t to your taste, Slice It! allows you to mute the sound and just play your own music library.

Slice It! offers 60 levels to play, and even three language options. It really does seem like the complete package – except it isn’t.

The biggest issue with Slice It! isn’t what is offered, but rather, what is obviously missing. The 60 levels are spread across three worlds – except there are five to choose from. Touching to select worlds four or five brings up a box saying “Five star reviews help speed up updates. Would you like to review this game?” and an option to switch to the App Store and give the developers that five-star rating they desperately want. (You’ll also see this message when you finish a world.) This kind of begging is deplorable and an insult to the consumer.

First of all, it’s clear that the makers of Slice It! are holding back content quite deliberately. Just seeing the selectable chapters is proof enough. But worse, to beg your customers via content blackmail devalues both the product that was created as well as devaluing the consumer. High ratings are earned, not asked for.

This cheap move really deflates what should be one of the better puzzle games available. Slice It! is absolutely worth your time, money and brain-flexing. It’s a shame the developers didn’t think the same, assuming they’d have to blackmail their audience to get a good score.