Floop is a new arcade physics title from independent developer Blacksmith Games, which dispenses the simple task of feeding a hungry squirrel. You must do this by launching an acorn into the rodents gaping mouth from a great distance, in as few turns as possible.
To launch the little acorn you must first hold your finger on the white ring that surrounds it before dragging away in the opposite direction. From here, a line showing the relative trajectory of your nut will appear allowing you to release your finger and watch the nut fly. This control method significantly differs from the one seen in many promo videos prior to the release of Floop. In my opinion it was an excellent decision by the developer to alter the controls, as this scheme works extremely well. Your task must be achieved over fifty levels which are split into four different themes labelled as Beach, Office, Supermarket and Sport. Aside from a landscape of related items, each theme comes with its own unique soundtrack such as tannoy announcements and cheering fans.
Each level is littered with obstacles that generally range from spikes and wooden boxes to ice blocks, all requiring careful thinking before proceeding. It is also essential to master the various aids at your disposal if you are going to reach your goal destination. Cannons, catapults and air vents must all be used to propel you to otherwise unreachable areas. Upon completion of a level you will be awarded a star rating from one to three, based on your overall turn count. These are used with Game Center and contribute towards eight unlockable achievements and numerous global leaderboards. Collected stars are also used to unlock a further two playable characters including a cheese eating mouse and a banana eating ape.
If I had one major issue whilst playing through this game, it would be the touch input and its lack of responsiveness on numerous occasions. I found myself becoming very frustrated with the number of times I attempted to launch the acorn, only to move the position of the camera. I was also unfortunate enough to come across several bugs in the game which resulted in my nut either getting stuck in the landscape, or falling through obstacles completely.
On completion of the game for the very first time I had managed to unlock both additional characters and all of the available achievements very easily. Although you can go back and try to obtain three stars on every level, there is no real reward or incentive for doing so and I found the game had little re-playability. The two unlockable characters didn’t ease this feeling very much as I failed to see any noticeable difference to gameplay when I used them. I was also disappointed with the end of the game, or the lack there of, as I was simply presented with a loading screen before being booted back to the main menu.
Floop is a casual, colorful and confound game that I found to be more frustrating than fun. The game’s simplicity is spoiled by poor camera positioning and physics which appear to be a little unpredictable for my liking. The developer has told me that updates will be released in the future with bug fixes and the possibility of new levels and characters. If these are implemented alongside further unlockable achievements this game may appeal to the masses. For now, I can only really recommend this game to the hardcore fans of this genre.