There are so many games in the App Store, that they're starting to blur together. So much so that some iOS game critics have checked into the insane asylum. So many physics and platform puzzlers swirl around in a digital maelstrom where nothing new or unique is allowed to escape. Such a vacuum is difficult to deal with. But occasionally a game gains escape velocity and rockets out and into the hearts of iOS gamers everywhere. Is Crazytarium one of those games to escape the insanity of the same or tailspin back down amongst the mediocrity?
At first glance, Crazytarium looks to be a shameless knock off of Cut the Rope. The art style, menus, levels, and general feel of the game cuts it very close. It even has the huge number of levels like Cut the Rope, each one features three macguffins to collect for extra points. But, gameplay is where the good gets separated from the bad, and the knockoffs are differentiated from the truly unique.
Crazytarium shuns the rope swinging mechanics of the aforementioned game in favor of something more akin to One Tap Hero. Your only mode of controlling the little pill hungry mad-man on his way to take his meds is to tap the screen. Your only move is jump, and you need to make the best of it to get through each level. The difficulty curve is even and increases incrementally so as not to drive you into the loony bin. The introduction of new, time sensitive, pills and grabby nurses only serve to add a new level to the gameplay. It can be frustrating figuring out which pills to get and when, but once the code is cracked and you time your taps right, it can be really satisfying.
Time is what sets this game apart. Many of the pills disappear quickly while others linger until a preordained dosage time. It make getting through each level that much more interesting. With the addition of velcro and padded walls to aid you in jumping form platform to platform, Crazytarium becomes something that is somewhat new. The crumbling platforms make many levels even more puzzling. You have to ration your amount of available floorspace against when and how you need to traverse the platforms in search of your meds. Hopefully those little pills help with the vertigo you might get jumping from platform to platform.
All in all, Crazytarium, while not being achingly unique in every department, is certainly fun and full of silly charm. It is a clever puzzler that will surely keep your mind spinning in circles trying to figure out the solution to nab all of your pills. Just don't play it for too long in one stretch. Some of the levels get so hard that you might be the next pill popping inmate of a maximum security mental hospital.