Game

Take one part brainteaser, two parts classic platform gaming and a pinch of bizarre humor. Then ask yourself the age-old question: will it blend?

Blendimals is a platform puzzler with a character-building twist. Combine your choice of animals in a giant blender to create hybrid beasts – or Blendimals – with various powers. Each level requires a different set of abilities to conquer, and half the game is knowing which creatures to call upon to succeed.

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Combine your choice of critters into a new creation. Animal cruelty has seldom been such fun.

Each of the stock animals has a unique platforming skill: for example, rabbits can jump, moles like to dig and cows explode. Obviously. Each level requires a different combination of abilities, which can be rolled into a single playable character by blending up to three creatures at once into a multi-talented freak of nature.

You start each level by inspecting the scene and deciding which skills will be useful. There are various obstacles to consider, including switches to press, rocks to smash and fuse boxes to destroy. Once a game plan has been formed, it’s off the blender to create a veritable Frankenstein’s Monster of animal parts, which usefully manages to maintain the abilities of its chopped up family.

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You get to view the level before making your blendimal. Which skills will be useful here?

Many levels require more than one blendimal to complete – often involving a sacrificial cow-based explosion to clear the way to allow another critter-combo to finish the job. As such, your success is ranked based on the number creatures used to get to the end of the level: the lower the better.

To earn a gold ranking you’ll need to avoid unnecessary deaths while completing the stage in the most efficient, optimal sequence. In the later levels it can take some serious planning. With no Game Center support the medals are largely inconsequential – although obtaining enough of them will unlock bonus stages.

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This rhino-fish-chicken hybrid has a face only a mother could love. Or an all-powerful blender-abusing creator.

The first handful of levels are almost painfully easy, as the game gently introduces new mechanics. Once all the of animals are available though, both the difficulty and the fun increase until the levels run out. There are only 30 levels, and they’re pretty short, but there are a few bonus stages (which use a ‘golden blender’) and a particularly enjoyable hidden cow-themed level.

The controls are generally solid: considering that the game utilizes pretty much every touch gesture there is, it’s impressive that they rarely clash. Switching between so many mechanics could be confusing – but its actually a lot of fun. There are a few minor issues, however: the press-and-hold digging controls force you to obscure half the screen with your own thumb to proceed. Its also tricky to lay an egg while floating – but hey, the fact that you can lay an egg while floating at all is pretty remarkable, right?

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Cute animated cutscenes introduce each new type of animal to the roster.

Blendimals has a unique graphical style, with enough different animal combinations to keep the blending mechanic fresh and comical – even the in-play animations are charming, and seeing your ungodly creations come to life is a joy. Our only gripe with the presentation is that some of the assets – mostly tutorial popups – don’t seem to be optimized for retina displays and look distinctly low-res (unless you’re still rocking an iPhone 3GS).

Overall Blendimals is an entertaining couple of hours of gameplay and will no doubt have you chuckling at some absurd creations. It’s relatively short, but very creative. If you like the sound of a platformer with both a heart and a brain, it’s definitely worth the $2.99 asking price. Will it blend? You bet.

Price: $2.99/£2.29
Version: 1.40
Size: 102 MB
Developer: Exploding Cow ApS

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Review: Blendimals - a smooth blend of gaming staples
A smooth blend of gaming staples with just the right level of difficulty for casual gamers to enjoy.
For
  • Unique, amusing concept
  • Creative action puzzles
  • Charming cartoony style
Against
  • Minor control issues
  • Relatively short
4.2Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)