avatarby Tab TimesDecember 22, 20130 comments

The original Cut The Rope honed in on the formula for mobile game success: smooth frame rate, physics brain teasers, single input simplicity, and, of course, an endearing main character. After a few years of level packs, a prequel, and a spin-off, developer Zepto Lab has finally released a follow-up with just enough new content and features to earn full sequel status and the title Cut The Rope 2.

After so many candy-munching adventures, it's a wonder that Om Nom's teeth are intact. Unless the levels end with public service announcements about cavities, he doesn't make for the best role model for the many kids who'll be playing this. That said, he's never looked more adorable, with much credit given to the animation team at Zepto. He's not just a functional mascot simply tasked with eating candy. He is also lovable due to his interactive design. He'll wiggle when you poke him, he enjoys the hats you put on him, and his eyes will follow your actions on the screen.

All these enhancements complement Cut The Rope's core gameplay, which is to cut specific sections of candy-connected ropes in order to use physics, particularly gravity, to get the candy into Om Nom's mouth. Balloons and water are more of a reoccurring fixture this time around and these additional variables make the puzzles fittingly challenging and, more importantly, rewarding. And like all good puzzle games, you can solve Cut The Rope 2's puzzles through constant trial and error, but the most gratifying experiences come from clearing a level on your first try, even if it means glancing and pondering for five minutes before taking a single action.

The depth of Cut The Rope 2 does not end at balloons and water, though. New to the series are Om Nom's latest friends, the Nommies. Each is integral to specific puzzles and they're all here to help him get to his candy. The aptly named Blue is a nonplussed light blue block who can clone himself into stacks to help our hungry hero traverse areas he couldn't otherwise access. Then there's Roto, a flying Nommie who can move various objects (including Om Nom). Toss, who acts as a springboard to most any object that falls on him, is also a worthwhile contributor. One might think that the Nommies' abilities would make any puzzle easier, but on the contrary they're really just additional variables to consider when facing each challenging puzzle.

Cut The Rope 2's microtransactions do not intrude in the game's 100 base levels. That said, you can purchase content ranging from $2 to $50, say, if you want a power-up that rains candy or to enlist the services of a firefly who shows you puzzle solutions. As with most any game, there are no drawbacks to failing while playing Cut The Rope 2 with no assists, so any skilled rope cutter shouldn't need to make additional purchases. The rub comes at the 20 extra-challenging levels, which can only be accessed by paying $5. There's no alternate way to unlock them, no matter your puzzle skills, and having to pay extra to unlock every level might not sit well with some players—particularly since the game launched so recently.

Paywall aside, Cut the Rope 2's many new additions deliver a level of freshness that fans of the series will appreciate. And the simplicity of the earlier sections of the game makes Cut The Rope 2 accessible to newcomers. As such, those who are well-experienced in the previous game, as well as physics-based puzzlers in general, can beat Cut The Rope 2 in the span of an afternoon. As short as that might sound, it's a lot of gratifying problem-solving for 99 cents, with an endearing art style to match. Lastly, its support of cloud saves ensures you can continue your progress on a relative's iPad during the holidays.

  • Cut the Rope 2
  • Developer: ZeptoLab
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Price: $.99
  • In-app purchases? Yes

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