- Great price
- Puzzles are fun and creative
- New additions make tried-and-true formula still feel fresh
- Puzzles are not very challenging
- Not a ton of new content
- Laws of physics occasionally ignored
Cut the Rope: Experiments is just as fun as the original—if not more so thanks to the new gameplay elements—but it's light on challenge and needs more content.
Fans of “Cut the Rope” have been waiting for a proper successor to the original physics-based puzzler for some time now, and now they have it with the recently-released Cut the Rope: Experiments from developer ZeptoLabs. Featuring 75 new levels, new gameplay mechanics, and a handful of hidden bonus features (like the drawings found in the previous title), Experiments gives you more rope to play with at an extremely low price point.
If you haven’t played Cut the Rope before, the premise is simple enough: there is a piece of candy (almost always dangling from one or more strands of rope) and your goal is to get it into the mouth of a little monster named Om Nom. To do so, you must – you guessed it – cut the rope to manipulate the in-game physics and swing, drop, or otherwise get the sweet into Om Nom’s mouth. Generally, the physics work very well and make sense, abiding by the rules that are established in terms of how the candy swings or moves and how external factors affect its movement.
And to bolster replay value, there are three stars floating around each level for you to try to collect before feeding the candy to Om Nom. Dropping and swinging the candy around so it touches each of the three stars before its final destination can be a little more challenging than it sounds and occasionally gives you a reason to revisit puzzles that are otherwise pointless to replay once you’ve completed them.
There are one or two quirks with the physics that don’t make a whole lot of sense, but once you know about them, it’s easy enough to work around them. For instance, attaching multiple ropes (a new feature, more on that in a moment) to a piece of candy from above for some reason pulls it upwards. Mind you, these are not ropes that actively pull on the candy when attached, so it kind of just makes it seem like the candy is defying gravity for no apparent reason.
Not Just Rope
While the core concept is quite simple, it’s expanded upon through a number of different in-game techniques, tools, or obstacles. For example, continuing with the idea of physics, both ends of a rope can be attached to moveable points, which can, in turn, be moved further away from each other to make the rope taut. If you cut the rope at this point, the candy that is attached to the rope will be slung in a particular direction with force thanks to the rope’s tension.
There are plenty of other modifying factors, like the ability to cut multiple ropes at once (thanks, multi-touch); bubbles, which encase the candy when it comes in contact and subsequently rises until popped via a tap; air balloons, which expel air to blow a bubble-encased piece of candy in a particular direction; and trampolines, which cause the candy to bounce.
There are also perils like spiders, which will slowly crawl along a piece of rope in an attempt to eat the candy at the end of it; the only way to get rid of them is to cut the rope before they get there. Candy can also break when coming in contact with spikes, or it can just fall off the map if you’re not careful.
In terms of what new things Experiments brings to the table besides new puzzles, there isn’t a whole lot. There are only two new gameplay mechanics, which are suction cups and rope shooters. The suction cups are just that, which can be attached and reattached through a simple tap of the finger; when not attached, gravity has them plummet downward until you stick them back on. Rope shooters are one-time-use-only, and automatically rotate in any direction to follow the piece of candy when it’s on the move. Once the candy is at the desired distance from the shooter—different lengths of rope produce different types of momentum, so choose wisely—just tap it and the rope shoots out, attaches itself to the candy, and stays at that fixed length.
Fun While it Lasts
At $1.99 in the App Store for the iPad and iPad 2 (and $0.99 on the iPhone), the price point of Cut the Rope: Experiments is low enough that you can’t really complain about the amount of content. Still, it’s worth noting that in less than two hours, I had completed all 75 levels and acquired 217 out of the 225 possible stars. So the new content won’t last you very long and once you’ve acquired all three stars on a level, there’s little reason to go back and play it again. The game does state that there will be new levels “coming soon,” but whether the levels added to Experiments will be paid content or free of charge remains to be seen (rumor has it that it’s the latter).
Regardless, the puzzles are undoubtedly fun and make great use of physics, even if they’re not especially challenging. After blasting through the easy introductory puzzles and getting to the ostensibly more challenging ones, it still usually only took me one or two tries before having that “Oohh” moment and realizing exactly what I was supposed to do. There were a couple of tricky ones mixed in occasionally, though; the most challenging puzzles were the ones that would rely not only on a particular setup and sequence of events, but also on perfect timing and reflexes, and those were the ones I enjoyed the most.
It’s definitely worth shelling out the two bucks to pick up Cut the Rope: Experiments, even if there isn’t a ton to keep you busy at the moment. It’s cheap and there’s more content on the way that, in all likelihood, is going to be free (I’m just going off the amount of free content that ZeptoLab has provided in the past, like the free Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift puzzles). Cut the Rope: Experiments may not contain the most challenging puzzles in the world, but they are definitely creative and still a lot of fun to go through, so I say give it a shot.