In 1991 a game called Lemmings game out and it was awesome. Launching one guy after another, playing follow the leader, to solve a puzzle was such great fun. So imagine my surprise when in 2015 I downloaded an iPhone game called “Plastiland” by Zillion Whales and I saw a game that reminded me of …well…Lemmings! Don’t get me wrong this game is not lemmings and graphically it’s far superior than that game but it basically “channels” the essence of Lemmings and that was enough for me to want to know more about this game. So I played it for a while and now I know enough about it to give you a complete review. So let’s get right into it shall we.
Game Interface and Controls
The graphics of Plastiland look just like those old claymation movies they used to have in school. Except this interface isn’t jerky like those old films were. It’s smooth, colorful, and looks sort of like clay. When the game loads you see a title screen and then there’s another screen with a pulsing play button under the title PLASTILAND in all caps. Press that button and you are taken to a map screen that shows you a bunch of different game sections you can play that are shaped like planets. There’s Tutorial Moon, Plasticinia, Plastipolia, Plastidonia, and Plastisoonia (which is coming soon). These planets rotate and you can scroll through them here on this screen. Tapping on one takes you into that planet (ie game section). Once in side the game section that graphics are mostly the same but the game levels vary based on level of difficulty. But all are colorful, slick looking as hell, and very claylike graphics are everywhere.
The controls of this game are pretty simple. Swiping moves things like menus and game screens. Tapping activates buttons. Tapping also tells each of the games different characters to do something. These characters are how you get past each level as you go along. That’s pretty much it for the controls. They are simple, easy to use, and anyone should be able to pick this game up and play it.
Ultimately it’s the game play that ends up determining how many stars each game gets. I’ve seen games that look great and play like garbage. These are what I call all sizzle and no steak! In the end you need some meat to sink you teeth into. In Plastiland there is plenty of meat to go around. Not only does this game look good but game play is awesome.
First there’s the tutorial planet. This contains 11 levels to teach players how to use each of the games 11 different character types. Characters like Chewer, Crusher, Crawler, Jumper, Builder, Blocker, Bomber, Roller, Zona, Portal, and Chest all need to be tried out and explained. It’s great the game devs knew this about their game and put in this amazing 13 level tutorial section. I can’t remember a more enjoyable and thorough tutorial area in an iPhone game before. Each tutorial builds on the next and tells the users how to use each of the characters in the game. Very very helpful and gets high marks in my book! After that the rest of the levels have similar aspects of a start and a finish and some crazy game screen configuration in between. Each room has a trick or a tactic that works. Some are very easy and some are quite difficult. The hard ones you can ask for help with a hint. Sometimes that helps.
Each level stars with a certain number of the characters coming out. You have to interact with them based on their specific game play trait and get them to the finish line. That’s it. Sounds simple but it’s not easy. It’s definitely fun.
My overall rating on this app is five stars! It’s beautifully drawn, has great game play, and I don’t see why anyone who likes to play games on their iPhone would not like this game. It’s a definite keeper as far as I’m concerned.
John McNamara is the webmaster and owner of TheAppReviewZone.com. He runs this website and also owns a DJ business which he runs part time. John is married, a father of two, and a complete geek when it comes to technology and mobile apps.