Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Ivor game for you

I recently mentioned a few of the games that I had found made the iPad fun as well as a practical business and information tool - and I have been sent for review another game that has recently been added to the iPad store.
Ivor is moving just as you remember

If you are a certain age (or your children are a certain age) you probably have fond memories of the TV series Ivor the Engine. With its hypnotic voiceover, gentle imagery and rubbish animation it was somehow rather appealing (especially for those of us brought up on Noggin the Nog).

The Ivor the Engine game brings all that Ivor used to be to an iPad app. The sounds and look are perfect. The music, the voiceover, those proto-beatbox vocal chuffs from the engine, they are all there. There are even the joins in the paper of the backdrop. There's authenticity, isn't it?

The game play is straightforward with little hints popping up to start with to show you what to do. As you meander around Ivor's world, you will pick up items and hints of what needs to be done. So, for example, you might see written down somewhere (you need reasonable reading skills - not for the very young unaccompanied) that you must remember to take someone his shoes, then somewhere else you will happen on a pair of shoes. All you need do then is work out where that person is, and how to get there.

The 'how to get there' part is central to the game. A map shows you all the locations Ivor can travel to. To get to them you need to set the levers in the signal box correctly. Just what those codes are will be picked up at various points around the game, where you will be faced with little puzzles to help unlock information and find objects.

All in all, then, a straightforward puzzle-based adventure with a nostalgic setting if you knew the TV series. For me rather too many of the puzzles are memory based - I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety from the beginning. I also found it frustrating there was no way to hurry through the link scenes/narration - in the Back to the Future game, a swipe jumped you through to the next key point - this was very useful. I also couldn't find any way to save a game - so when you came back to it you had to start again from the beginning. This was very frustrating.

While I'm not quite sure who will play the game - it really needs the appeal of nostalgia, and is a bit slow paced for today's children - it is nicely put together and warmly entertaining, and at £2.99 is hardly going to break the bank. Find out more at its page on the iTunes site.

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