Mobigame, the developers behind the award-winning game known as Edge, has now brought us an infiltration-styled puzzle game called Perfect Cell ($4.99†).
It is the year 2029. After a meteorite had crashed into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a team of scientists had discovered Cell Zero and transferred it to a militarized submarine base. After performing experiments on the cell, the scientists discovered that the cell was hostile towards other forms of life and it was able to evolve abnormally quickly. One month later, we must take control of Cell Zero and help it escape from this militarized submarine base.
After creating Edge, one of the most successful puzzle games in the App Store, how will Mobigame’s Perfect Cell turn out?
Gameplay and Controls
Gameplay and controls are two very important components that can make or break a game. Not only do people want a game that has enough content, but they also want a game with controls that make the game playable without frustration. What do these components do for Mobigame’s Perfect Cell?
As briefly stated earlier, the objective of this game is to escape from a submarine the cell is trapped in. There are a total of 35 levels to complete (lasting from 1-5 minutes each), which isn’t a whole lot. There are different gameplay styles, which you can use to play the game. You can either play the game recklessly or stealthily. The reckless style is the easier and faster way to play because you won’t need to try and sneak past guards; you can simply kill them. Unlike the reckless style, the stealthy style is a lot more challenging because you will need the patience and speed to get past a certain guard. This style proves to be much more difficult and makes the game last much longer, as opposed to its quicker counterpart.
Throughout the game, some levels will ask you to collect a certain number of hidden prisms (Figure 1). I think these prisms were added to lengthen the game and to make it seem as if this game isn’t a simple get-from-point-A-to-point-B game when it actually is. These prisms do absolutely nothing and I don’t think they need to be in the game at all.
Figure 1: A hidden prism
Everyone has different control preferences. Some people have been known to hate Perfect Cell’s control method, whereas others have loved it. In my case, I love it. The controls are very easy to understand and get used to. To move around, you simply tap and hold on an area of the screen and the cell will move towards that area. You will also have the ability to dash, which can be used to either move very quickly past guards or to kill them. To do this, you simply swipe. In later levels, you will learn new abilities such as splitting the cell into multiple parts and the “draw dash”. These abilities are, again, really easy to learn how to use. To split the cell, you simply split it with two fingers (Figure 2). To perform the “draw dash”, you just have to hold the cell for a few seconds and then draw a line, which represents the cell’s path (Figure 3). Once you let go to end the path, the cell will move very quickly and kill any of the guards in the way.
Figure 2: Cell Zero split into three parts
Figure 3: The path drawn for Cell Zero’s “draw dash”
Gameplay and Controls Score: ★★★★½
Presentation and Graphics
The presentation and graphics are also very important aspects of a game. People want an easy and clear menu to navigate through. They don’t want to go through a series of menus to begin playing; they just want to begin without any trouble. People also want nice graphics. Whether they are realistic or cartoony, people want something that is appealing and easy on the eyes.
The menu system of this game is extremely easy to use. The main menu consists of three buttons: Play, Options and Mobigames (Figure 4). Pressing Mobigames will simply bring you to their App Store page, which displays all their games. Pressing Options will bring you to the options menu. This menu consists of a slider to adjust the music, a slider to adjust the sounds, an option to change the language (5 languages are included; English, German, Spanish, Italian, and French), a button to view the credits, a button to view your scores, and an option to disable Game Center. Pressing the Scores button will display your total statistics throughout the game; from your total time played to your total amount of kills.
Figure 4: Perfect Cell’s main menu
Pressing the Play button will bring you to the level selection screen. This screen displays all 35 levels represented by a pair of letters and numbers for each level. Selecting one of the levels will display your best time for that level, the prisms that you’ve collected for that level and whether you’ve completed the level without having to kill anyone (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Level selection screen showing all the levels, the best time, the collected prisms, and the Bonus No Kill icon
What attracted me to this game at first was definitely the graphics. I absolutely love the 2.5D environment, the lighting, and the shadows used in Perfect Cell (Figure 6). The dark graphics of this game really adds to the unnatural feeling of being trapped in an unfamiliar environment, which is full of guards armed with AK-47s.
Figure 6: Perfect Cell’s 2.5D environment with an excellent use of shadows and lighting
Presentation and Graphics Score: ★★★★★
The music played in the menus is calm, and like Perfect Cell’s dark graphics, it adds to the unnatural and uneasy feel of this game. The soundtracks played throughout the levels range from calm sounds to more frantic and fast-paced sounds, which fit the game perfectly.
The sound effects in this game are very well done. From the doors opening and closing, to the guards screeching in pain, to the glass shattering as the cell dashes through it, everything is done in great detail.
Audio Score: ★★★★★
Perfect Cell, containing 35 levels and 16 Game Center achievements, offers little replay value. After completing the game, there is little motivation to continue playing. Like I said, there are achievements, but in my experience, achievements aren’t a reason to continue playing a game. Mobigame did attempt to lengthen the game by adding those hidden prisms, though I felt that the prisms didn’t help the game much. Of course, there is hope that Mobigame will add levels in the future, though since this game does have an ending, it seems unlikely.
Replay Value Score: ★★★½
Value For Money
$4.99† for a game offering a total of 35 levels and very little replay value is not worth it. 35 levels wouldn’t be bad if they were longer levels, but seeing as how they last at most 5 minutes, the current price is definitely too high. If you are somewhat interested in this game, you should definitely wait for a price drop.
Value For Money Score: ★★★
Perfect Cell, with its awesome graphics and very fun gameplay, definitely lives up to Mobigame’s reputation. Unfortunately, Perfect Cell falls short of a perfect score due to its limited replay value and high price. It’s a shame that it will not be receiving a perfect score because Perfect Cell is a great game and I absolutely loved it. I did play this game on my iPad, though it is a Universal application, so it can be played on the iPhone and iPod Touch as well.
† All prices are in US currency unless stated otherwise.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Overall scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories and applications were purchased at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.