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Android  header logo

Bag It!

For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad

Worth queuing for?

Product: Bag It! | Developer: Hidden Variable Studios | Publisher: Hidden Variable Studios | Format: Android | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Bag It! Android, thumbnail 1
It’s a well established rule in the Devlin household that I unload the trolley and my wife does the packing. It’s a rule born of years of crushed crisps, cracked eggs, and meat bagged alongside toxic cleaning products.

A game concept built solely on the idea of meticulous grocery packing, therefore, sounded like a terrifying prospect.

But thanks to a combination of cheery charm, easy to grasp physics puzzling, and a mix of entertaining modes, Bag It! succeeds where Tesco Checkout Simulator 2011 would certainly have failed.

Pack it in

Pitched, somewhat overzealously, by publisher Hidden Variable Studios as 'Tetris meets Toy Story', Bag It! mixes the star-chasing structure of Cut the Rope with the exaggerated cartoonish faces of Airport Mania. Your job throughout the 50 generous stages is to safely bag up as many items as possible without squashing anything.

Items, which range from weighty melons (hey, stop sniggering at the back) to easily crushed crisps, slide across a conveyor belt at the top of the screen. You drag each one into the bag with your finger, using a second digit to spin the item around if necessary to slot it into a particular space.

Common sense prevails, with heavier items best stacked at the bottom and lighter goods (such as squashable bananas) placed carefully on top.

The controls are well-suited to touchscreens and, even when you’re trying to cram items together, it’s rare to pick up the wrong goods or fumble a hasty swap. Meanwhile, the chunky products are easy to identify, with charming animations like expressive eyes to indicate whether they're happy or in peril - the quaking baguettes can't help but raise a smile.

Mix and match

Unlike the average supermarket shop these days, Bag It! gives you a fair amount for your money.

While you can patiently play through every level in sequence, bagging three star ratings in levels earns you trophies and coins to unlock the later stages earlier.

The early levels are a breeze, and run the risk of seeming like busywork, but the game soon starts throwing curve balls to spice up the action. Some stages, for example, have a timer to beat, while others need you to rescue the likes of Sir Eggward (a monocle-wearing egg carton, obviously) before he’s crushed underneath some weighty produce.

Later levels can seem ruthlessly tricky, but being able to fill multiple bags each level - and having a three strikes approach to smashed goods - takes some the edge off. There are even some unique levels in which the game premise is inverted, meaning you have to flatten as many items as possible - normally by stacking melons on them.

Final total

Along with its appealingly chirpy visuals and audio, Bag It! is overflowing with content. But something is missing, which holds it back from back from greatness.

There are some obvious irritations, like the fact items can’t be returned to the conveyor belt once they’re in the bag (often forcing a restart), but the main issue is the premise itself.

Once the saccharine rush wears off, you gradually realise that you’re still bagging groceries (one of life’s great annoyances) for fun.

Still, Bag It! does its best to distract you from such scary thoughts, and definitely has an addictive edge over the weekly trip to Asda. 
 
Bag It!
Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin | 29 November 2011
A neat bag-’em-up puzzler that’s stuffed with charm
 
Rate this game >> Average reader score: 
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