So, if you were a rubber duckie, floating in space and trying to get to the portal home, what would you do? If you said “I would ride sound waves (produced by strategically placed speakers) toward the exit, and collect donuts along the way”….then your mind horrifies and confuses me. According to Newtonica 2, however, you would be absolutely correct. N2 is a new offering on the Iphone’s app store, and this unusually innovative puzzler tasks you with doing just that.
Newtonica 2 features 30+ puzzles of increasing complexity. All the puzzles task you with guiding a floating duck towards the goal with only sound waves to grant you momentum. The sound waves are generated by speakers placed around the level, some of which are fixed in place and others can slide along a preset line. The goal is to figure out which order you need to fire the various speakers (accomplished by touching the speaker on screen) to guide the duck around various obstacles and towards the goal. Along the way, there’s optional donut collecting to be had as well, which adds another wrinkle to the already cerebral gameplay.
Newtonica 2 is all about careful planning. You have to visualize where you need the duck to travel to, and some puzzles require your speaker firing to have very precise timing. You’ll have to take the speed and direction of your ducks drift through space into account as well. The puzzles range in complexity from overly simple to downright perplexing, and you’ll definitely find plenty here to work out the old noggin. The downside is, there is no option to instantly retry a puzzle if you fail. The game kicks you out to the puzzle selection menu. An instant retry option would’ve been a huge plus, and would have decreased the frustration level associated with failing a puzzle.
You’d expect a game that relies on sound waves for motion to have great audio, and Newtonica 2 doesn’t disappoint. The sound effects are exactly what you’d expect, and the game features some great music. The graphics are simple, but oozing with charm, and everything really pops on the Iphone’s screen.
Newtonica 2 comes in two flavors, the original N2 and N2: Resort. The two games share the same basic gameplay, but Resort features some new art, a different soundtrack, and a whole new selection of levels.
I highly recommend both versions of N2 for gamers looking for some great puzzling action on the go. The game’s quirky mix of strategy and charm will hook you instantly. Its surprising amount of depth insures that you’ll have hours of enjoyment, and more than justifies each game’s 99 cent price tag. It’s the most fun you’ll have pushing a duck through space on sound waves this year, I guarantee it.