Move over, Rube Goldberg. Say hello to Casey… I mean, Alex!
Growing up, one of the games I played to death in elementary school was The Incredible Machine. Don’t ask me why my school thought it was educational; I spent most of my time blowing up little men with nitroglycerine. But speaking of not arresting me, I naturally glommed on to and became a huge fan of Casey’s Contraptions as soon as I bought an iPad.
Like the original classic Rube Goldberg creator, Casey’s Contraptions evoked the joy of tinkering with things that were normal and turning them into things that were extraordinary. And it seems Rovio shared my passion (though perhaps not for nitroglycerine). Just over a month ago, the empire that Angry Birds built bought the rights to Casey and his contraptions, hoping to turn something already extraordinary into something…extraordinarier. Hey, I told you I spent all my time in school playing games, remember!?
In either case, say hello to Amazing Alex: rebranded, redrawn, and ready for action. In true Rovio format, the teaser site that launched today is scant on too many details like screenshots or a specific release date, but does give us some more insight into the facelift Rovio has planned… and for that matter, what’s staying the same.
As you can see from the trailer above, Rovio is bringing Amazing Alex in lock step with their aspirations to be the “Disney of mobile,” changing the look of the character and world to give a sense of light, cartoony narrative. In other words, where Casey’s Contraptions felt very much like a whimsical game, Amazing Alex bleeds with the potential to become a cartoon show, complete with studio polish. This is further proven as we’re invited to “Meet Amazing Alex with his boundless imagination [who]… turns everything into adventure!”
With that said, much of SnappyTouch’s excellent core design choices seem intact, or beefed up with a vengeance. For example, the ability to create and share far more than one solution to each mechanical puzzle remains, while Rovio has gone the extra mile a la Trainyard and promised players the ability to custom craft and share entire levels to add limitless longevity to the game, which will start with 100 levels and four zones.
Anything can happen between now and the game’s release date this month (July 2012), but so far it looks like Casey’s Contraptions is in good hands. Amazing ones, even.