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iPad  header logo

SpinCraft

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Spinning out of control

Product: SpinCraft | Developer: Bulkypix | Publisher: Bulkypix | Format: iPad | Genre: 3D, Action, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
SpinCraft iPad, thumbnail 1
One of the worst criticisms you can level at a platform game is that its controls are 'floaty', which puts SpinCraft on the back foot from the start

Movement around the 3D world relies almost entirely on hovering between platforms and - thanks to a wonky camera and unreliable, often clumsy, controls - you’ll spend far too much time bouncing off ledges and failing to make simple jumps between platforms.

A slice of robot life

With its Sonic-style Green Hill Zone landscapes and reasonably cute characters (though your robot guide ANVI bears a striking resemblance to Portal 2’s unhinged Wheatley), SpinCraft should be a light-hearted, free-to-play romp.

You control Pyp, a pizza boy just one failed delivery away from being fired. To avoid getting the sack, he needs to traverse 20 levels to get his – presumably well-insulated – pizza to the customer in time.

Although the mechanic is not explained until the mid-point of the game, when ANVI (or the developer) suddenly remembers it’s important, you need to collect a set number of crystals on each stage to power-up your mini UFO-like SpinCraft to travel to the next area.

Actually locating these crystals is the only real challenge in the game, as they’re generally spread out across the map and require some minor platforming skill to reach.

Controlled using a mostly responsive virtual stick, Pyp’s sluggish craft handles like it's on skates and needs to be steered careful to avoid tumbling off of cliff edges.

Fortunately, he can jump small distances by holding the 'up' arrow or even hover a tad further if you tap the button repeatedly. There’s only a tiny energy bar for this, mind, so conking out mid-air is a regular issue unless your timing is up to scratch.

Pricey pizza

For the first ten levels, Pyp’s under-powered transport isn’t too much of a problem. But once the difficulty starts to ramp up (with longer leaps, maze-like levels, and more persistent enemies to be spin-attacked) you’ll be crying out for a better interstellar delivery bike, or a camera that doesn’t lurch violently around when you’re swiping the screen for a better angle.

Fortunately, if you've got deep pockets there are plenty of in-app purchases available to unlock levels or buy you permanent speed and power boosts. While it’s possible to complete the game using skill alone, or by grinding back through stages for in-game cash, the mostly bland action and uninspired level design hardly eggs you on.

Like a Tesco value freezer pizza, SpinCraft’s blandness is its biggest drawback. Yes, the sharp 3D packaging looks inviting, and younger players might enjoy its cutesy charms, but what’s inside is devoid of real meat to sink your platforming teeth into.
 
SpinCraft
Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin | 12 November 2012
It looks the business in screenshots, yet SpinCraft’s half-decent 3D landscapes can’t hide the tedious design and irritatingly floaty controls
 
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