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iPad  header logo

Cosmic Bump

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Unidentified flipping objects

Product: Cosmic Bump | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPad | Genre: Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Cosmic Bump iPad, thumbnail 1
There should be more pinball in everyday life.

When I get my change in the supermarket I want to be made to manually ping it out of the slot with a well-timed flipper shot. Got a headache? Paracetamol packets should allow you to bounce the tablets directly into your gob.

In the same way, most video games would be improved by a dash of pinball magic.

Cosmic Bump has all the ingredients to make me a very happy reviewer, mixing as it does a healthy dollop of pinball into a bouncy casual physics game. While it's decent, though, there's a vital something missing.

Space balls

The goal is to save a trio of aliens from each elaborate stage. This is achieved first by firing one at a time (the fewer the better) out of a cannon into the level, and then taking advantage of various level elements to help collect every last energy icon.

The primary way you can affect your alien's path once you've launched it is through a selection of strategically placed pinball bumpers, but there are also fans, bubbles, bungee cords, and more to aim for.

All you need to avoid is dropping down to the floor at any time - which, as in pinball, will cost you a life.

Flipping good fun

The level design is pleasantly varied throughout Cosmic Bump's five worlds.

Some stages are relatively open and pinball table-like, requiring you to get your pinball eye in so that you can redirect your alien properly.

Most, however, have a rather narrow and preset way of executing them. This becomes more and more the case as the levels get trickier, with increasingly elaborate, twisting stages requiring a set order of execution to succeed.

Some stages require a little too much luck to execute properly, and you'll simply restart time and again until you happen to stumble into a successful solution.

Cosmic conundrum

This isn't aided by some slightly floaty, vague physics. As any pinball fan will tell you, video game iterations most commonly fail on getting the satisfyingly solid feel of the real game right.

While that isn't quite so imperative here - this is a casual puzzler first and foremost, after all - the physics still aren't quite right. Our alien floats around the stages somewhat, and doesn't quite react on the flipper as you'd expect.

The floaty physics also see you getting stuck on the scenery from time to time, leading to a loss of life you're powerless to foresee or prevent. Again, it can be a little too random for its own good.

Bumper crop

Other than these issues Cosmic Bump is yet another solid casual puzzler along the lines of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and Where's My Water?

It has cute artwork, a clear three-star award system, chirpy sound effects, and six themed worlds (with more to come) each sporting a new gameplay element to keep things fresh. Everything you'd expect of a Chillingo title, essentially.

Everything, that is, except for that vital spark - that almost indefinable moreishness - that keeps you coming back again and again and again, and which the aforementioned titles have in abundance.

Cosmic Bump is fun, then, but it's unlikely to make you flip out completely.
Cosmic Bump
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 18 September 2012
Cosmic Bump is a decent casual puzzler with a fun pinball element, but its physics and reliance on luck don't quite do the rest of the game justice
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