By Peter Magers on Sun, 03/04/2012
Gameday, Inc. has presented gamers with a brand new adventure game goody in the App Store. Help Purple is a cleverly constructed magical problem solving adventure that is chock-full of charm.
The job of the player is to help Purple—Purple being the name of one of the friendly spirits that represent the colors of the rainbow. Purple’s need for help stems from the invasion of Huge Monster, who seems intent on eating everything in its path, including Purple’s colorful friends. Each of these rainbow pals has their own unique magical ability. Purple is left alone to solve the problem of Huge Monster, but his own magic—the power to absorb and imitate the abilities of others—makes him more effective as he rescues each one of his friends.
Help Purple gameplay focuses on problem-solving using objects in Purple’s environment and Purple’s various skills as they are collected. Controls are used primarily for collecting, moving, combining, and activating items around Purple rather than navigating. Once obstacles have been cleared or paths created, Purple moves forward himself.
The variety, creativity, and think-outside-the-box attitude is what makes Help Purple really stand out in the App Store. Each stage poses a new problem for Purple to solve before progressing. Not only are each of these puzzles unique (build stairs, feed flowers, create a lens to focus a ray of light, to name just a few examples), there are also mini games sprinkled throughout the stages. The mini games present a more focused challenge, like a boss to defeat, or a pattern to unlock. Each one of these is different from the last, and they help balance Help Purple’s pacing by adding some action. In addition to the story mode play, there’s a collecting and trading game within Help Purple. Throughout the game, icons of quirky mini-characters flash on the screen. If you tap them at just the right moment, you’ll ‘collect’ that item.
From the game’s main menu, you can access your collection; you can also trade with other players via networking to get characters you’re missing. It’s another way that Help Purple goes above and beyond to give the player a good, all-around experience. This isn’t a game that’s just about repetition, giving you brain-teaser headaches, or endless item or currency gathering. There’s a harmonious balance of different elements that make Help Purple one of the most satisfying game experiences I’ve had on iOS. The one mild criticism is the game’s English. It’s clearly translated from another language, and the grammar is shaky at best when you get a pop up, but this adds to the game’s charm more than it detracts.
And an important element of that balance is how the game looks and sounds, as well. It’s vibrant, but not abrasively so and whimsical but not so cute it’s going to give you cavities. The art direction behind Help Purple is exceptional, and the sparing use of dreamlike cut scenes enhances the game’s magical atmosphere. Purple has plenty of personality without ever speaking a word—there are no voice overs here (probably a good thing, considering the pop up translations). Purple’s animation is polished, and project’s the character’s friendly-little-nature-spirit attitude perfectly.
Help Purple is available now in the App Store. The game’s regularly priced at $1.99, which is eminently reasonable for the quality of the game and the time you’ll spend playing it. But if you act quick, you could catch it at $0.99, as there’s a special promotion happening for a limited time.