(DSiWare)

Cut the Rope (DSiWare)

Game Review

Cut the Rope Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

This cuts it

There has been much debate in gaming circles about Nintendo’s digital offerings and the competition from smartphones and tablets. Now one of the biggest hits from those rival platforms, Cut the Rope, has finally arrived on DSiWare. The question is, does this title succeed on the DSi, or does it miss out on the candy?

The premise of Cut the Rope is simple: a cute alien called Om Nom is hungry for candy, and it’s your job to make sure that he gets it. What follows is a physics-based puzzle game where you cut ropes to swing and manoeuvre the candy into Om Nom’s mouth. Holding the DSi on its side — in a 'book' style — you cut ropes with a simple swipe of the stylus, while there are also air balloons to tap, bubbles that enable the candy to float and moveable anchors to manipulate the angle and tension of the line. As you would expect of a puzzle game designed solely for touchscreens, it all feels intuitive and easy to play.

Simple controls do not necessarily mean an easy game, however. After a few gentle early levels you’ll quickly discover why this title has been addictive to so many: these are some fiendish puzzles. Some require you to maintain a certain swing and momentum to the rope, while others necessitate quick thinking and reactions. Due to each attempt taking a matter of seconds with a retry available immediately, you could conceivably find time melting away as you aim to progress through the game.

There is a decent amount of content on offer in this DSiWare edition; a total of 100 levels are divided evenly between five themed ‘boxes’. In one sense each box is basically a colour palette swap, as the puzzles often take place on an area around the size of two or three screens. As mentioned previously though, there are new items and puzzle variations throughout the title, keeping your interest piqued. Progress to the next box is not just down to beating the previous 25 levels, but also collecting a set number of stars: with three in each level, it's sometimes a tough challenge to retrieve the lot and successfully get the candy to Om Nom. As things progress, you may finish a set of levels only to discover that you don’t have enough stars for the next box, meaning that you can’t simply blast through the game achieving the bare minimum scores.

While the gameplay is for the most part a success, there are some issues with this version of the title that drag it down. Primarily, the limitations of the DSi affect gameplay and performance in such a way that, unfortunately, the fluidity of the experience is compromised. The first issue is that the DSi touchscreen only allows a single input, whereas some of these puzzles were specifically designed to utilise the multi-touch capabilities of other devices. One puzzle necessitates moving two separate anchors as quickly as possible to manoeuvre the ropes towards the goal. As a result of the stylus-based gameplay, this level and others like it are fairly awkward and more difficult than they otherwise would have been.

In addition, the relatively small size of the touchscreen is restrictive, an issue with the title on other platforms apart from tablet devices. Some levels involve multiple ropes close together, with progress dependent on successfully cutting one specific rope. This is difficult on a small display, and there will be occasions when you know exactly how to clear a stage, but struggle with the execution. To exacerbate this issue, there are moments of noticeable drops in frame rate, where the animation and swing of the ropes stutters. This doesn’t happen on every level, but when this occurs it can cause real problems, especially if precise timing is required. These issues don’t break the game or deprive the player of enjoyment, but they are annoyances on occasions that may frustrate some gamers.

The overall presentation of Cut the Rope is relatively strong. The visuals are bright and cheery, with Om Nom being one of the cutest game characters ever created. Dips in frame rate do disrupt gameplay, as described above, and there are some fuzzy textures. The sound is light and breezy, though the music is the same track in all of the boxes and levels, with the only respite coming in the main menu. This is a sound design choice that reflects this title’s status as a pick-up and play experience, not designed for long, sustained periods.

Conclusion

Cut the Rope is a charming, well produced physics puzzle game that is undoubtedly entertaining. It contains all of the content from the original smartphone release, though not all of the subsequent expansions, and provides an experience that is both simple and challenging. The pricing is reasonable on the scale of Nintendo downloads, though many will be aware that it’s possible to purchase this game for much less elsewhere. Some performance issues also have an impact, but overall this is an enjoyable title that should be on the radar of all puzzle gamers with a DSi.

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User Comments (39)

BenAV

#2

BenAV said:

Seems decent but not enough for me to purchase.
Will pass on this one... Waiting for Four Swords!

CorbsAdmin

#3

Corbs said:

I was afraid the DSi touchscreen would be a problem for the game and it appears it was. Great review! Guess I'll stick with the iOS version of the game. :D

KeeperBvK

#4

KeeperBvK said:

So, one of the big questions surrounding this release hasn't even been touched: What about the levels requiring you to make use of the iPhone's multi-touch display? Were those levels exchanged for others? Are all levels new? Did they just port every level? Have slight tweaks been made to those stages?

LEGEND_MARIOID

#5

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Spot on revw, thanks - though I think an 8 is more appropriate despite the 'annoyances'....good game, worthy download if you don't have iOS

Bankai

#6

Bankai said:

The price is such reflection on the DSiWare vs iOS state of things that this simply cannot be considered good value.

Pity Nintendo can't get it's act together with pricing.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#7

Philip_J_Reed said:

So, one of the big questions surrounding this release hasn't even been touched: What about the levels requiring you to make use of the iPhone's multi-touch display? Were those levels exchanged for others?

It's not just been touched; it's been answered by the review!

The first issue is that the DSi touchscreen only allows a single input, whereas some of these puzzles were specifically designed to utilise the multi-touch capabilities of other devices. One puzzle necessitates moving two separate anchors as quickly as possible to manoeuvre the ropes towards the goal. As a result of the stylus-based gameplay, this level and others like it are fairly awkward and more difficult than they otherwise would have been.

TeeJay

#8

TeeJay said:

What follow is a physics-based puzzle game where you cut ropes to swing and manoeuvre the candy into Om Nom’s mouth.
I think you mean "What follows".


Anyway I'm surprised this game got such a decent score. I don't know why, but for some reason I thought it would be lower.

SyFyTy

#10

SyFyTy said:

The review said... "and the competition from smartphones and tablets..." Now how can THAT be when Nintendo (who we know is NEVER delusiona)l, said they are NOT competition????? See Nintendo, it's true De-nial is more than a river in Egypt.

SyFyTy

#11

SyFyTy said:

Nintendo needs to get with the rest of the gaming community but they think it's the other way around...

Jono97

#12

Jono97 said:

I find ds i ware games abit overpriced compared to the games in the i tunes store. I think this only costs 99¢ or something like that in i tunes.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#14

Philip_J_Reed said:

Great job on this one, Thomas. I'm sorry to hear the conversion was less than stellar...the original gets an easy 10/10 from this old bird.

This still sounds like it's worth having (particularly interested is my girlfriend, who loves playing it on my phone but can't play it on hers), but it's a shame the puzzles weren't reworked or replaced.

ThomasBW84Admin

#16

ThomasBW84 said:

@Chicken_Brutus - My thanks to you sir :) It's definitely a fun game, and well worth consideration even with the flaws of this version. Playing the original on a powerful smartphone or tablet does work better, in truth, because of the multitouch and smoother frame rate. It's compulsive stuff though, as I mentioned in the review, hours just melt away when playing this game.

I guess this is a good example of some genres and style of game being far better suited to phones and tablets, though most games, outside of touch puzzle games, are still far better on a dedicated gaming handheld with buttons and a d-pad (or Circle Pad), for my money anyway!

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#17

Philip_J_Reed said:

I guess this is a good example of some genres and style of game being far better suited to phones and tablets, though most games, outside of touch puzzle games, are still far better on a dedicated gaming handheld with buttons and a d-pad (or Circle Pad), for my money anyway!

Agreed on both counts. I have yet to find a single platformer I can play on my phone without going insane. Certainly some of them are better controlled than others...but I have yet to come across one whose controls I'd describe as "good." So that's one point for the dedicated gaming handheld. :)

But yes, this and my current favorite Spirit HD are definitely better suited to the phone/tablet.

Supremeist

#18

Supremeist said:

Didn't even think about the touchscreen. I might not be getting this then. Still a very good game but just shines on the iOS.

xxx_Kirby_xxx

#24

xxx_Kirby_xxx said:

Guess I'll just stick to the one on the iPod (I think), I guess. Oh, well, I only have 200 points left anyway. :l

Jono97

#27

Jono97 said:

I am thinking.. This or bomberman..they are both 7/10[I think]. Well I already have a few puzzle dsi ware games.(And I am stuck on one level..)well I guess bomberman would be more suitable in my situatuon.. Also, just a correction to my last comment above, The IOs version is like $3

weirdo

#30

weirdo said:

This game is nice, I just bought and and till now I just faced one level which recommended multi-touch, whereby I couldn't get all three stars. The controls work very nicw, the screen isn't to small and it plays nice on a tipped ds. The only bad thing about is the amnount of levels, 100 isn´t very much, since one level doesn´t take very long to finish, even if you want to get three stars

Soupeep

#33

Soupeep said:

I hope that start porting more appish games to the 3ds (not dsiware as the hardware is not up to it) because I think the 3ds would benefit from them. Things like angry birds would make the 3ds more popular. I would like to see a sort of app store made out of the eshop with free and paid apps. People may disagree with me but I think it would be a good idea.

lalalalalalal

#34

lalalalalalal said:

@ 33. Soupeep

Maybe...but for sure, it wouldn't hurt for nintendo to make some "lite" or "free" versions of games :)

Flowerlark

#35

Flowerlark said:

I just finished this and I have to say it's a pretty darn good puzzler. I'm probably going to write my own review for it and give it a 7.5. I didn't really feel hampered by the lack of a multi-touch function, though I felt that the controls could be funky which did hamper precision in some of the more diabolical levels. Even so with persistence I was able to get all the stars on every level. Too bad there's no bonus for doing so. I was hoping for a trophy or something.

Progamer

#37

Progamer said:

I got cut the rope on my 3ds, its actually not that bad. Hopefully the devs update it soon. Get it if you never played it, but if you have it on your ipod or whatever then no

motang

#38

motang said:

Love this game, it is so addictive! I never bought this on my tablet, so I bought it on my DSi as it feels more comfortable vertically than the 3DS does for me. I hope Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds would make it on over (both of which I do have on my tablet), but would love to have on the Wii U or 3DS! :D

Loloweb

#39

Loloweb said:

I bought it 5€ on DSiWare to play on my 3DS: it is a very bad image quality compared to the 0.68€ Android version or to the free Internet game.

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