Mittens (iOS) review

IMG_2369Mittens is a new iOS game from Disney. It’s available now as a $0.99 download from the App Store for iPhone or a separate “HD” version for iPad for $2.99, and carries additional in-app purchases to unlock later levels early — and also one additional in-app purchase for an extra level pack that is not part of the main game.

Mittens is a physics-based puzzler somewhat similar in execution to titles such as Cut The Rope. Players take indirect control of a cat as he attempts to make his way to a perilously-located milk bottle somewhere in the level. Players must navigate the cat by making use of various physics-based objects around the levels, which vary from sunshades that can be closed by removing their supports, to blocks of wood that can be chopped in a specific place by swiping through them with your finger. Some levels feature physics-based elements that interact with one another — for example, chopping a wood block so it falls onto a series of gears will cause it to slide down, hopefully depositing the cat in an advantageous position. Each of the game’s “worlds” are themed around a particular aesthetic, and each introduces new mechanics and hazards to the mix.

mittens Each level’s main objective is to collect the milk bottle, but three blue gems are also scattered around in inconvenient locations, so the ultimate test of a player’s skill is in completing the level and collecting all the gems. Several levels in each world are locked behind increasingly-large numbers of collected blue gems, and these “secret” levels contain red gems. Red gems, in turn, must all be collected in order to unlock the world’s final objective. In practice, obtaining this final reward requires that all blue and red gems in the world are acquired.

There are presently three different worlds with 25 levels each in Mittens, with each one becoming unlocked as the player completes the previous one. Alternatively, players may unlock each world early for an in-app purchase of $0.99 per world. There is also a fourth world available for in-app purchase for another $0.99 — this world must be purchased, as it is not accessible simply by progressing far enough in the game.

Social features for the game include Game Center support — achievements only, since there’s no “score” to base a leaderboard on — and the ability to tweet the result of a level, including the number of gems attained. These social features are somewhat limited, but given that the game isn’t really built for social or competitive play there’s not really much more Disney could have done.

On the whole, Mittens is a decent-quality mobile game with good production values. Graphics, sound and particularly animation are all very good, and the gameplay is both simple to understand and solid. It is very similar in execution to the many other physics-based mobile games out there, but these are a proven, reliably popular formula among the masses. Some App Store reviewers have objected to Disney charging for a level pack when the game is already a paid app, but most have responded positively to it on the whole, and the app is presently-sitting at a comfortable and deserved 4.5 stars at the time of writing.

You can follow Mittens’ progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social games and developers.

Play

It’s yet another mobile physics-based puzzle game, but it’s a pretty good one with some excellent animation.

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