Part Time UFO

Adorable alien is ea­ger to please

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Alan Stone­bridge

$3.99 De­vel­oper HAL Lab­o­ra­tory, ha­legg.jp/eng Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 9.0 or later

E.T. has a fight on his hands for the ti­tle of most be­nign vis­i­tor to planet Earth. The pro­tag­o­nist here is a sen­tient space­craft that’s ea­ger to help hu­mans with odd jobs. Equipped with only an ar­cade game-style claw crane, you’re tasked with pick­ing up ob­jects and trans­port­ing or as­sem­bling them.

The gen­uinely odd tasks you’re asked to do in­clude lift­ing a cheer­leader squad into for­ma­tion, re­build­ing a top­pled mu­seum ex­hibit that’s bro­ken into pieces, and care­fully bal­anc­ing as­sorted an­i­mals on a pole held by an ele­phant that’s bal­anc­ing on a ball.

The game is fairly flex­i­ble with how you ac­com­plish each stage’s ob­jec­tive. You can ar­range the cheer­lead­ers in all sorts of im­plau­si­ble ways, for ex­am­ple. They and other ob­jects you move are rigid shapes, though they re­act to bumps and grav­ity, mak­ing it pos­si­ble to undo your hard work if you’re care­less.

Each level has three bonus ob­jec­tives, for which you’re awarded medals. These in­clude as­sem­bling the cheer­lead­ers in a way that ex­ceeds a min­i­mum height, putting the ex­hibit’s pieces back to­gether in the cor­rect or­der, and en­sur­ing no an­i­mals fall off the ele­phant’s pole. The game is soon fin­ished if you con­cen­trate mostly on core ob­jec­tives. How­ever, it’s sat­is­fy­ing go­ing back to try your hand at the re­wards you pre­vi­ously missed, which ex­tends the fun and value.

the bot­tom line. A short but sweet physics-based ar­cade game, Part Time UFO is charm­ing, ac­ces­si­ble and re­ward­ing.

Bal­anc­ing cir­cus an­i­mals is ac­tu­ally among the more or­di­nary tasks you’re asked to achieve.

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