Down in the dumps.
Spare a thought for Sam. The size of a beetle and sporting antenna, you'd think he already had it tough. But Sam has been unlucky all his life, at school and even being ditched at the altar.
All this pales in significance to his current predicament, though.Kidnapped by a scientist, Bitter Sam now finds himself dangling from a tiny rope in dangerous depth, all in the name of science.
So begins our hero's endeavour, and it's hard not to feel sorry for the guy, just dangling there with a dour expression. But onwards and downwards the red suited guy must go, through caverns with stones, sharp saws and various other obstacles waiting to turn him into a small red splat on the cavern wall. For Sam, it's another bad day, for us it's another fun little rope swinging game.
Most iOS gamers will know the drill by now, tilt left and right to dangle the rope and avoid danger. This comes in the form of rocks which can maim, circular saws which can cut and turning platforms. If all that sounds like hard work then you're in luck, Bitter Sam is also ready with some interesting power-ups to guide you.
For some unexplained reason, pigs are dotted around each level and can be used to cushion a fall by destroying the object beneath. This also destroys the pig, so they need to be used wisely. Later levels add needles and when you collect 3 of these after remembering to pick up your pig the game gives you a super inflated pig that can make its way through pretty much anything until it finally explodes in a shower of pork scratchings.
As an extra challenge to your tilting, crystals are placed in difficult places throughout the game and must be picked up for maximum points. They also open one of the remaining four worlds, so collecting them is vitally important if you want to continue Sam's adventure.
Bitter Sam is a fairly straightforward swing mechanic game, but the cute graphics and Sam's moribund expression really set it apart and allow it to stand out. The build up of new threats helps to keep the game fresh as you enter each set of levels, though it can still feel a little repetitive at times.
While these type of games don't tend to lend themselves to multiplayer, Bitter Sam does, at least, have scoreboards with Game Center support, allowing you to compete with friends for top scores. Getting the perfect score by not touching any walls or objects and still picking up the crystal is something that will keep score attack fans coming back to the game.
With 20 levels in each section and 5 sections to get through, there is plenty of fun to be had with Moon Active's game. Though it may be a bit short for the more accomplished gamer, Bitter Sam is still worth dangling some cash over the App Store for.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 7
- Longevity: 7
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