iPhone Life magazine

The 12 Reviews Of Christmas: Rescue Razzle by Sunstorm Interactive (Day 4)

The genre of puzzle game that requires you to stack or unstack objects is becoming increasingly popular in the App Store, and like any such genre new entries really need something to set them apart from the rest of the pack. From a game play perspective I’m not really sure that Rescue Razzle has anything new to offer, but the theme is cute and for some reason I do find it to be one of the more interesting games of this type that I’ve played on my iPod Touch. That being said, I think it could use a little more pizzazz to break away from the rest of the gang.

 
In Rescue Razzle your job is to rescue Razzle the rat. Razzle’s problem is that he keeps getting stuck at the top of a pile of crates. It’s an interesting dilemma indeed, seeing as he’s still in his cage every time. Nevertheless it keeps happening, and Razzle would prefer not to be at the top of this pile of crates. On the other hand, Razzle doesn’t really want to be on the floor, either. Some levels are covered with mouse traps, while others have water on them. Some are bare, but I guess in that case Razzle just doesn’t care for the finish on the wood. Thankfully there are some crates that are surrounded with metal. These crates can’t be broken, and they also make a good buffer between Razzle’s cage and the floor / water / mouse traps.
 
Here Comes The Water
 
As for the rest of the crates, you can get rid of them one at a time by tapping on them. Remember, though, that like any good, unstable tower of objects, when you remove one the others are likely to shift and possibly tumble. The farther they have to fall the more likely they will shake things up, and the less chance Razzle has of being safe. On the plus side, Razzle can survive a fall from any height. On the down side, you must get rid of all breakable crates, so if Razzle ends up on a stack that is only comprised of breakable crates, you’re going to lose and have to start the level over again. Sometimes the path of least resistance if obvious, but more often than not it will be a matter of trial and error to determine the best way to get the blocks to tumble. Fortunately the levels I’ve run through so far haven’t had too many crates in them, so even if you have to retry a level a few times it’s not like you’re going to spend hours per level.
 
The biggest problem I’ve seen so far is the lack of variety. All you have are breakable blocks and non-breakable blocks. How about blocks that cause other blocks to break? Or maybe there could be blocks that have to fall first before they can be broken by you? Even the environment gets repetitive, since there are only three backdrops to the game. Maybe different settings could have traps like lasers or something that would prevent you from letting the tower fall in a certain direction. Much of this might be out of the scope of what the game is trying to be, but it seems like there should be a little bit more to the levels than what currently exists.
 
The graphics in Rescue Razzle are really nice. The backgrounds are detailed, the crates look decent and the rat is pretty nifty. The crates don’t look bad when you break them, but I think it would be cooler to see pieces fall to the floor than to have them implode like they do now. Also, it would be nice to see some effects like splashing in the water level or traps getting set off in the garage level. Finally, while it’s nice that there’s a bit of animation with the rat (it always tries to make sure it’s turned upright), as soon as any part of the cage hits the ground movement stops. There should really be a better transition when the cage hits the ground. Have some kind of “there goes the rat” animation or something.
 
Mouse Trap Anyone?
 
Sound effects mainly consist of crates breaking and thumping as they’re destroyed or tossed around. The other frequent noise is Razzle’s squeal as its cage flops about the tower of crates. It feels a bit empty, but I’m not sure what else you’d add there. The music is not bad, but the levels go by so quickly you don’t get to hear much of it before it “loops”. It would be really nice if there were a way the music could just keep playing from level to level. Or better yet, maybe they could have a different tune for each level type?
 
Rescue Razzle doesn’t do much to advance the tower collapsing genre at all. What it does offer, however, is a decent atmosphere and a nifty little rat to save. As you continue to play the game, however, what begins to sink in is the sheer genius with which some of these levels are designed. You can try several different variations of removing crates to find out that all it took was one crate in the right spot to solve the whole thing. The best part is that you’ll never get into a position where you feel like you’re pulling your hair out. If the developers decide to revisit Rescue Razzle and add some more bling, they’ll have quite an accomplishment on their hands.
 
Overall Score: 7/10
App Store Link
 
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Eric Pankoke has been a gamer for more than 20 years. He began with arcade games, moving to consoles and eventually handhelds and Pocket PCs. Now he spends most of his time on one of his iOS devices. Eric has written more than 700 gaming reviews, which have appeared on a number of gaming websites as well as several issues of both Smartphone & Pocket PC and iPhone Life magazines. He regularly contributes to iphonelife.com and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.