photo 3It appears our friends across the pond have already gotten access to Blacksmith Games’s debut title PLUSHED, but here in the US, we’ll have a little longer to wait until Midnight (local time). In case you’ve been living under a rock for the month of December, Blacksmith Games is also the genius development studio behind the Appvent Calendar website, which is arguably the most talked about App Store promotion since Pop Cap Games put one of their games on sale for $0.99 and introduced “pulling a Peggle” into our Lexicon.

Fortunately, we must have been on Santa’s “nice list” since Blacksmith Games actually sent us over an early copy of the game a few days ago. Believe us when we tell you that you are in for a real treat. PLUSHED is a slightly twisted platformer that feels like Lewis Caroll and Tim Burton had a hand in making. As you can see from the screenshots and video provided, the game is rather striking aesthetically. There are lots of little (twisted) details in the lush scenery that you may not catch the first few times through a level.

You take on the roll of a plush bunny who is trying to find the little girl who owns him after they were both pulled into a Fairytale book as a result of a magical spell gone astray, leaving them stranded in the world of Fairytales. Face off against all manner of storybook characters including some cannibalistic Hansels and Gretels (guess all that candy and witch killing went to their heads), and even bigger baddies in the end-of-level boss battles.

photoAt the beginning of each level you meet some whacked-out inhabitant of this odd Fairytale world who tasks you with a mission to complete, which may be to find their lost pigs or perhaps some lollipops to stop the babies from crying. This is done via some humorous dialog that we recommend that you actually take the time to read (don’t worry it’s not a near-novel length, like Super Paper Mario). Along the way you can collect hundreds of golden scarabs, which will unlock additional minigames. There are starred checkpoints within the levels and you will also quickly notice that you are given an unlimited number of lives, which turns out to be a very good thing since there are some areas of the levels which can get rather tricky.

Movement of the bunny is controlled by left and right arrows and you tap anywhere on the screen to jump. There are also certain areas of the game in which you have to shake the device to perform an action pick up and object by touching it with your finger and drag/drop it somewhere else on the screen to use it. The controls are nicely thought out, very responsive and worked flawlessly.

We are really enjoying this game and can’t wait to play the official build very soon. We definitely recommend picking up the game not only on its own merits as a unique, challenging and entertaining platformer, but also to help support Blacksmith Games who has already brought you 20+ free games (and counting).