When it comes to titles that made the handset a viable gaming device, Cut The Rope enjoys the kind of status that Angry Birds does. The game has won over millions of users with its physics-bases simplicity and yes, the sheer adorability of its protagonist, the frog-like Om Nom. For those who know the game not (alas, alas for them), Cut The Rope is a game in which you, well, cut ropes, to help Om Nom get some candy. The candy is more often than not attached to ropes, and cutting the right cord at the right time will see Om Nom chewing away happily, and if you can collect some stars in the process, well, you get a few extras.
That, then, is Cut The Rope in a nutshell. It is easy to play, comes with addictive music and looks very good indeed with bright colors and some awesome animation (particularly when Om Nom sulks!). It is a decent formula and the developers have not messed with it in Cut The Rope: Time Travel. You still have to cut ropes, liberate candy and guide it into the mouth of Om Nom.
Except that now there are TWO Om Noms.
Ah yes, that is one of the twists added to the game. Evidently, as per the story (yes, there is one…of sorts), Om Nom gets sucked into some sort of portal and springs out sitting next to another Om Nom, albeit from another era (time travel, you see!). So at each level, you have two Om Noms sitting patiently and waiting for chocolate – one looking ‘normal’, the other looking very similar barring a few ‘period’ touches (an Egyptian Om Nom has a Pharaoh’s headgear, the Renaissance Om Nom comes with a goatee, etc.) – and yes, you have to feed both.
There are a few other new touches too, on different levels. There are chains that can be cut only by spinning disks. You have the option to freeze the screen for a while by hitting a button, executing a few actions, and then ‘unfreezing’ things to see how matters pan out, and you can also shell out some cash and get Om Nom some super powers (telekinesis) to guide the candy into his mouth, and that of his differently-attired friend. There is also the usual bevy of obstacles and assistants to help you on your mission of mercy – blades that butcher candy, bubbles that capture the candy and gently float upwards, balloons that blow air to move bubbles and candy in certain directions, and bombs that pretty much move everything in their vicinity.
And they all add up very well indeed. Cut The Rope: Time Travel is all about working out your angles and timing and then clipping cords. Pretty much the old Cut The Rope with a nice, fresh coat of paint, we would say – and an additional Om Nom. It plays smoothly, is never over-challenging (you will always think you have a chance to get things right the next time around), and thanks to the dual Om Nom presence, as ‘aww’some as ever – we still cannot get over Om Nom’s gulp of despair as a candy eludes him. Having two Om Noms definitely adds to the element of challenge, but as we pointed out, never to the point of getting insurmountable. You will find yourself coming back for one more tilt at getting the Om Noms their candy. There is lots of gameplay too – there are six ages to go through (Stone Age, Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, Pirate Ship, The Renaissance and The Middle Ages). Some might even consider purchasing super powers to get a move on, although we would advise against it as it really makes things too easy, and there’s nothing in the game that a bit of persistence will not overcome.
Similar gameplay, similar characters, largely similar puzzles with a few spins thrown in – all of these make Cut The Rope: Time Travel a very addictive affair. We would have liked a tad more innovation – could not the puzzles also have harked back to the era from which the costumed Om Nom came, for instance, but then there will be those who will talk of the futility of fixing something that already works. And Cut The Rope: Time Travel does work. There’s a new time waster in town.
Price: Free (Android), USD 0.99 (iOS)