Cut the Rope: Experiments isn’t quite a sequel, but it’s still tremendous fun
While gamers have spent the better part of the last year cutting the rope, developer ZeptoLab has been cutting a rope of their own. Specifically, the rope connecting them to publisher Chillingo. Cut the Rope: Experiments is the second full release in the Cut the Rope series (or the third of you count the oft forgotten Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift), and the first to be self-published by its developer ZeptoLab. But is this really a full-fledged sequel? Or simply an excuse for the game’s developer to step out from under the Chillingo umbrella?
Much to no one’s surprise, Experiments seems to be the latter. Rather than revolutionizing what Cut the Rope can be, Cut the Rope: Experiments offers 75 new levels that could just as easily have been included as a free update to the original release. From a consumer standpoint, this is Angry Birds Seasons all over again. But don’t let that deter you – despite being more of the same, Cut the Rope: Experiments happens to be really good.
In case you missed the original, the basics of Cut the Rope are essentially this: there’s a hungry little green monster named Om Nom, and all he wants to eat is candy. To feed him, you’ll need to get the candy off of the rope and into his mouth – but like any good video game, nothing is ever as simple as it sounds. Players will use all sorts of neat physics tricks to swing the candy into his mouth, all while trying to snag three stars scattered around the levels along the way.
Like the original Cut the Rope, Experiments is broken up into multiple different worlds comprised of 25 stages each. A new element of play is introduced in each of these worlds, and like before, there’s not a stinker in the bunch. In fact one of the new gameplay twists in Experiments might just be my favourite so far. And with Om Nom being dropped off on the porch of a mad scientist, I can’t help but wonder about what wacky gadgets we might see in future Experiments updates.
The first new twist you’ll encounter are trampolines. Facing all different angles, these allow you to bounce the candy in the necessary directions to earn stars and put delicious treats in Om Nom’s belly. The second major addition is ropes that you can shoot to attach to the candy. The length of these ropes is determined by the distance when you shoot them, so you’ll want to wait for just the right moment before firing. And then finally you’ll encounter my new personal favourite, the suction cup.
Suction cups are attached to the other end of the rope holding the candy. Tapping the cup will allow it to come detached from the wall. Depending on the physics already applied to the candy (swinging, rising, falling, etc..) the suction cup will move accordingly. Tapping the screen again lets you reattach the cup to the wall. These neat mechanics lead to moments where you’re trying to get what is essentially a movable peg in place to score the most stars possible, or walking the candy up and down the wall with the use of two alternating suction cups. Unlike other elements that have a really fixed behaviour to them, the physics behind the suction cups really make things feel a little more willy nilly, but in a refreshingly good way.
In terms of stage design, veterans of Cut the Rope will no doubt blast through the first two worlds with the utmost speed, netting three stars on every level along the way. For much of the game, the challenge level is rather low. But by the time the suction cups are introduced, there’s enough going on in each stage that you’ll no doubt be going back to some of these later levels time and time again to try and get every star.
Cut the Rope: Experiments may not be the revolution we were hoping for, but it’s still a terrific release in an exceptional series. With 75 new levels to start with and the promise of more to come, there’s simply no good reason to keep this one out of your collection. Besides – everyone loves a good mad scientist.