Piclings Review (iOS)

Game Review: Piclings
Release: May 5, 2011
Developer: PAN Vision AB
MSRP: $.99
Rating: 4+
Version: 1.0
Size: 14 MB

Did you ever think that you could design a better level than a game production company? Did you ever think that what you’re looking at at the moment would be a good playground for your character? Piclings takes your camera and your pictures, and turns them into levels. Are they worth the time, or does a developer need to be the one to take care of level design?

Piclings takes a concept that other titles have of augmented reality, and tries a new spin. While some games use a camera to produce live battlegrounds for a static gameplay segment to play on, Piclings does the reverse. It uses static images for variable gameplay, unique to each level. Items and enemies automatically fill up the level, with a set of pre-created levels ready from the go.

Picazzo, your hovering main character, has to fly and track down all the coins in each level. A camera pauses the action as your enemies, Huffies and Puffies, stop for the picture. The equivalent of a Super Star lets you take out enemies with a touch. Picazzo can fly and regain health with hearts around the level. With no real default offensive abilities, he’s got to let the opponents slam into each other.

Bullet Points

  • Level creation from most pictures
  • Family-friendly action
  • Theoretically limitless levels
  • Achievement support
  • You can share levels with friends

The concept alone is pretty interesting, and for those who enjoy level design, is a basic piece of fun. Still, the biggest problem comes from the control scheme. A movable D-Pad is the only source of input. Holding up allows you to fly, swiping down lets you drop below platforms. With the controller movable, you’ll be dragging it around the screen like crazy, interrupting the gameplay. While the lack of an offensive move is a design choice, it’s still something that you’ll wish you had to take out each stage’s handful of threats. Additionally, there’s no true “level editor”; you can’t modify what the game assumes is hills and valleys and quality item locations in the customized stages.

Piclings offers a decent concept of game design, letting players effectively design the levels themselves. Still, with a surprisingly non-modifiable level editor and an annoying game design, it hampers the gameplay. Piclings is a unique concept, but you’ll wish it was with a better game.

Maybe it will be a free app one day

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