It's the new year, and superlatives are completely understandable due to hopeful resolutions and a sunnier disposition. Feed Me Oil 2 is one of the new releases of the just reopened App Store, and even though Santa Claus is on vacation, the Christmas spirit should linger for iOS lovers.

Physics based puzzlers thrive on bending our minds (and possibly our fingers), by crafting mysteries and equations which, though easy at first, can push us to our very intellectual limits. Bragging rights are shared for players who finish their respective stage in a fast manner or with the use of as little hints or resources as possible. Feed Me Oil 2 still employs this same dynamic, but offers us a unique twist on the proceedings. Although it's wonderful to figure out a puzzle in record time, the awe inspiring visuals may seduce you into sticking around just a little bit longer.

The goal is to direct oil into a specific section of a given area with the use of such objects as platforms and windmills. Getting as much oil as possible to your target is mandatory in completing the level, and until that happens you'll be stuck in gaming molasses.

Part of the joy in solving each puzzle is the ability to rotate each object with the simple twist of a finger. Sliding one of your digits on a chosen item will move them around the environment. Knowing where to place your objects, as well as utilizing their full potential, is the key to mastering each level. The most important step, however, is to know how to open up all that oil, and that's accomplished with a simple tap on the screen. After I tap towards the direction of all those green arrows, this Fantastic Mr. Fox knockoff won't know what hit him.

Aside from its inspired visual design and engaging game play, Feed Me Oil 2 also slides in a sneaky, yet much needed message within its narrative. Although we are in the presence of a beautiful environment, unleashing all that oil does have its repercussions. Upping our Game Center achievements and posting our accomplishments on Facebook are all fine and dandy, but this app asks us to also take a closer look at the bigger picture. It's scary to think that a few of these animals looked a tad normal before industrial "progress" reached their waters.

With all your accrued stars from each of your levels, you'll be able to earn a few hints and tips along the way, and those icons are featured on the upper left side of your device. I've only used up one of my tips, and that was entirely by accident. Feed Me Oil 2 is a rare physics adventure which doesn't annoy me if I don't solve the riddle within a couple of minutes. I'm completely content with starting at my iPad and trying to figure out if this animal is actually a razor blade with eyes or a scientific experiment gone wrong.

Sometimes solving a mystery isn't as fun as getting there, and this puzzler gives us a subversive and intricate universe to explore. Thanks to the developers' fertile imagination, we're treated to a first rate app that exists in rarefied territory. If you're a Where's My Water? fan, but crave a richer and grander experience, just open up your iOS device and strike a little oil.


App Store Link: Feed Me Oil 2 for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo Ltd  | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0 |  36.9 MB | Rating 4+

9.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating