Pinch Zoom Update (Review)

Well this is a little strange. How often do you see a review for an update? It seems strange even to me but actually Pinch’s latest update is more than just a minor update. It features a new, more polished art style, speed improvements and other great features. I reviewed the full game previously and in that review I mentioned many things that could be added to improve gameplay. It makes me quite happy to see that everything I’ve mentioned is in this update.

To start, when I played Pinch before the update on my iPhone 3G, I did notice some lag. It didn’t really bother me too much as the game doesn’t rely on quick motions and there isn’t a whole lot happening on the screen. With this update, improvements have been made to the engine allowing Pinch to run much smoother. Even the graphics have been updated. As I said in the review, the art style was “simple and polished” but they’ve actually taken it a step beyond and made it even more polished. The colours are more vibrant and would really look nice on a retina display.

Second is the addition of leaderboards and achievements via Openfeint. Being able to see what time your friends or other people around the world have for completing each level is great. Some of the times really surprised me and pushed me to try harder and beat that time. On a first play through, much of my times were high as I had trouble figuring out what to do but after that, it’s really fun trying to just beat a previous time on the leaderboard.

Third we have the biggest feature which of course is the ability to zoom out at any given time during a level. This was something I really felt the game needed and after giving it a try, it helps a lot when trying to figure out the bigger puzzles. Being able to see what door a switch opens or where you should move a Norb next while planning out your next moves makes the game much easier to play. Controlling the Norbs is a little harder as they are small but you likely won’t be playing the game too much with it zoomed out; it’s mostly to get a bigger picture and plan out the puzzles easier. I replayed some of the more difficult puzzles and was finally able to figure some of them out when viewing the puzzle as one.

Lastly we have the addition of 12 new levels. Each free update so far has had 12 new levels but this time, in addition to the free update and using the in app purchase feature (DLC), you have to pay $0.99 to unlock them. I highly recommend doing so though because the new levels are always challenging and unique. Also by purchasing these levels, you help support the developer in future updates, levels and even the possibility of greater games in the future.

Overall, the Pinch Zoom Update is one of the best updates I’ve seen for a game. It includes just about every requested feature with the addition of zoom and a smoother engine. Norbs are still a little difficult to control on the small screen of an iPhone or iPod Touch but I hear an iPad version is in the works so if you have trouble playing this version but enjoy the gameplay, I recommend waiting for the bigger version – in addition to purchasing this version of course.

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