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Crayon Physics Deluxe review:

Crayon Physics Deluxe

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Typical Price: $5.99
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The Good Charming. Genuine sense of accomplishment as you complete a puzzle. Intellectually stimulating. Incredibly relaxing vibe and music. Several "Oh, snap!" moments keep the game fresh.

The Bad Game is too short. Later levels get very frustrating. No accelerometer support.

The Bottom Line One of the best iPhone games we've played, Crayon Physics Deluxe definitely deserves a place in your iPhone arsenal.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

9.2 Overall

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Winner of the 2008 Independent Games Festival grand prize, Crayon Physics Deluxe is the iPhone and iPod Touch version of the PC game by Petri Purho. The goal of the game is to guide a small red ball across a series of obstacles to reach a star. However, in order to get to that star, you must draw a variety of objects such as ramps, levers, slings and weights, to help the ball move across chasms and over walls.

Graphically, the game looks like a crayon doodle on butcher's paper drawn by a child, and is just as cute. This is a game that doesn't need to draw on the iPhone processing power to achieve brilliance, relying instead on artistic simplicity and genuinely mesmerising gameplay.

Sadly, the drawing aspect of the game doesn't translate well to the iPhone, with our fingers too large to draw precise lines, and often obscuring our drawings. By comparison, using a mouse on a PC provides a level of control impossible for the Apple device to attain. You'll still do fine with odd looking Picasso-esque boxes that don't fit together in the game itself, but when it comes to the level editor, you'll find yourself wanting greater precision.

Crayon Physics Deluxe's physics are, appropriately, very accurate, with objects responding realistically to input from the user and other objects in the world. Any shapes you draw appear in-game with a weight value appropriate to its size and affected by gravity. You always have to be on the ball too; like in real life, physics and gravity operate whether you're paying attention or not.

For instance, take a level with a star on the bottom right, and a ball sitting in the top left on a platform. Drawing a line between the platform and the ground would give it a safe bridge, and you could then draw an object above the ball which would drop on it due to gravity, pushing it on its way down your newly made ramp.

This is just one solution; the physics-based nature of the game means many are possible, and solving a puzzle your way gives an immense amount of satisfaction, helped along by the charming music. There's no penalty for failing — if the ball falls off the screen, it simply returns to the starting position, leaving you to modify your existing drawings.

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