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A sweet, inventive point-and-click puzzler. In space.
Size: 191 MB
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Developer: Alike Studio
Love You To Bits tells the frankly adorable story of a young astronaut, Kosmo, and his robot girlfriend, Nova. After an unfortunate wormhole-related accident during a space battle, Nova is broken into her component parts and scattered across the galaxy. It’s up to Kosmo to travel between worlds, searching for these bits in the hope of rebuilding his mechanical sweetheart.
Gameplay-wise, the puzzles tend to involve interacting with characters and objects in the correct order to gain access to the robot part stranded somewhere in the stage. All movements and interactions are controlled by taps; it’s pretty intuitive. You can pick up items to use in conjunction with parts of the environment, or to bribe strange alien creatures into helping you. The puzzles are a mix of ‘room escape’ style thinking and 2D platformer style presentation. There are no time limits, and you can’t die. It’s a pleasingly calm experience.
Kosmo’s movements and expressions make him an emotive little guy – in fact, the smooth animations are top notch throughout. A series of well-hidden bonus items unlock cute animated ‘memories’ of the couple’s past, and every few stages you’re shown a backstory-expanding cartoon. It all adds up to an enchanting story, and before long you’ll really be rooting for this charmingly clumsy space cadet. Let’s get Nova back!
Throughout the game you’ll encounter new, unique ideas at every corner. You could be toying with gravity one moment and time travel the next, before launching into a level framed like an interactive comic book. What’s striking about Love You To Bits is just how little content is recycled – almost every stage throws a new gameplay mechanic or a fresh aesthetic at you.
The game is rife with references to other games, borrowing art styles and gameplay concepts from everything from Mario Galaxy to Monument Valley. Thankfully, the game combines these loving homages with enough of its own creativity that it can’t be accused of plagiarism.
Though the difficulty fluctuates from level to level, on the whole the game is a fairly straightforward experience. The puzzles are designed to be delightful rather than challenging; think smile-inducingly smart rather than brain-bogglingly complex. While a tougher challenge in parts would be nice, the journey is sweet enough and creative enough that it’s hard to care too much about difficulty.
Love You To Bits does occasionally expect strange leaps of logic, or will deny a seemingly reasonable solution because it’s not the precise approach the developers had in mind. It also suffers from medium-grade “trial and error syndrome,” whereby many levels can be finished through mindless experimentation in lieu of actual problem solving. Oh, and there’s a fair amount of backtracking involved, which does leave you wishing Kosmo would move just a little bit faster at times.
Not every stage is a hit, but overall the level design is excellent and will keep surprising you up until the end. This is a creative game that will get you using your head and your heart – we’ve got no qualms about recommending Love You To Bits.
- Creative, varied puzzles
- Slick graphics and animations
- Adorable backstory
- Not especially difficult