At first glance, Incredipede looks like a really strange game. And you'd be right to think so, because it is a weird game. This physics-based puzzler from Sarah Northway will have you rolling, tumbling and cursing your way through many varied levels and worlds as an ever-evolving creature named Quozzle. Is Incredipede really all that incredible? Or does it lack the will to evolve into something truly fun?
Quozzle's story is a dark one. In the very beginning of the game, this poor incredipede's home is taken over by strange men that came from across the sea in ships. Even worse is that these dastards captured her sisters. It is up to Quozzle to use her unique skill to grow limbs and muscles to make it across dangerous terrains to a faraway village and rescue her sisters.
Once you start Incredipede, you'll be given the choice to play it in Normal mode or Hard. Normal mode is so much easier than Hard because it morphs Quozzle into different animals/shapes for you, easing one of your burdens. You'll only have to worry about making it across the many hazardous levels and collect fruit. In Hard mode, you'll have to grow and customize Quozzle's muscles and limbs yourself, meaning that a lot of trial and error is involved, since you could potentially make the most worthless combination of parts and send Quozzle going perpetually backwards instead of forging ahead.
You control Quozzle with two buttons that move her limbs either forward or backward. Depending on the current orientation of her limbs and muscles, she'll move a certain way. Sometimes this means that she'll have to move a short limb forward and then wheel back around on a longer limb to cross gaps, or perhaps orient her limbs in such a way that she'll be able to fit through a small opening. In Normal mode, it's a little easier to recognize how you should move Quozzle to get to the end of a level and collect all of the fruit on the way. But in Hard mode, it's exponentially more difficult since you'll have to mess around with the customization of her limbs.
Controlling Quozzle's movements is much like playing QWOP; you don't really know what you're doing and you'll fail a lot, but once in a while you'll find a groove and just roll with it until the end. If you ever get stuck, you can always restart a level in order to find a different solution. Let me just warn you now that you'll have to restart very often, so get used to developing a reflex in which you shout expletives and then have a finger dart towards the "Restart" button.
But for all its frustrating moments and absolutely bonkers physics puzzles, Incredipede is one seriously solid game. It's an experience that actually challenges you and does its best not to hold your hand throughout the proceedings. The art, while somewhat grotesque at times, is beautiful, and calls to mind a picture book from childhood. You'll want to see Quozzle roll through the lands triumphantly, walking over hot lava, riding on the wind and crossing over rocks in a bid to save her sisters.
Incredipede is worth the $1.99 price tag for any fan of physics puzzles and games that truly challenge one's problem-solving skills. Just make sure you don't trip over yourself as you dash toward the App Store to get it.