Review: To-Fu: The Trials of Chi

Review: To-Fu: The Trials of Chi

One thing I love about iPad games which have been specifically designed for the platform is often their simplicity and responsiveness. Being a multi platform gamer I have never been overly fond of console ported games to ‘I’ devices as they rarely work well enough without the control mechanisms. Specifically designed games do not follow this pit fall because they have been designed from the ground up with the device in mind and this definitely becomes To-Fu’s greatest strength. Therefore I suggest donning your red headband and getting to grips with HotGen’s To-Fu: Trials of Chi HD right now (OK, headband may be optional but I’m sure it helps).

Gameplay

To Fu is a puzzle platform game mixed with quick reactions and accuracy on many levels. You are To-Fu, a simple block of the rubbery food to which the foods downfall becomes your asset – flingability! You touch and pull To-Fu to the angle you want him (or her) and then let go to see the red head banded rubbery ninja fling to the next surface and stick, be it horizontally, upside down – whatever. There are different wall surfaces like glass which To-Fu slides down, and conveyor belts that move of which bring in the aforementioned quick reactions. Accuracy also plays a strong part as some levels require To-Fu to be bounced of several walls to end the level in one move and some require you to hit switches to activate platforms and doors.

There are presently 100 levels to wade your way thought which all have 2 basic challenges which are to collect the full amount of Chi orbs in the level (as your primary objective) and your secondary optional objective is to do the level in a set amount of moves, usually ranging from one to four. You can sometimes do both objectives on your first time of trying a level but this is rare. Often you will need to do a level a few times to do it in the specific amount of moves.

Graphics

I love the graphics in this game. It is full of bright neons mixed with more calming wood effects. To-Fu himself is delightful with his motion and stretching, not to forget the skeleton he shows when hitting lazers (which I do admit I am a little baffled by if he is To-Fu). Maybe due to my fondness of Super Meat Boy on the 360 I just like small, square pieces of food as characters – who knows, but the overall aesthetics of this game seem just right for what it is.

Sound

Sound is simple and calming considering the subject matter. The sound of To-Fu when you let go is a wonderful snap reminiscent of when you used to pull those elastic bands which used to ping back on your own skin (minus the human yelp which subsequently followed). To-Fu also makes a wincing sound when at full stretch waiting to be flung at the right moment. Times when To-Fu hits lazers, or spinning blades are certainly entertaining enough so for a game which doesn’t require a lot of sound, the sound it does have is more than suitable for the job.

Controls

As I stated in the opening of the article, the controls for this game are sublime as they have been created specifically for the device(s) in mind (also available on the iPhone/iPod). There are no other controls than touching on To-Fu to stretch the character as you want him and then lifting up to let go. If you do not want to fling To-Fu you can reduce his stretch to normal size and let go and he will remain where he is without shooting across the screen. Other than that there are no other controls to speak of.

Verdict

As you may have guessed by this review, I am more than fond of To-Fu: Trials of Chi and I would go so far as to say it is my favourite game so far on my iPad/iPad 2. I am not saying it is the best as that is personal preference after all and this game is simplicity at its best, but perhaps that is why To-Fu is certainly my favourite to date. The idea of it was silly enough to draw me in and contact the developer, the gameplay is fun, slick and responsive not forgetting the great, bright visuals and more than adequate sound make this to be a game suitable for anyone, any age, anywhere. I have not tried the iPhone version yet but I can not imagine it being any different, although some levels may require a few more goes where accuracy is concerned due to the smaller screen and the size of your fingers. At a price of $0.99 for the smaller devices and $2.99 for the graphically optimised HD version it is more than a bargain for what you get and the replay value offered. So I suggest you buy To-Fu: The Trials of Chi HD – HotGen Ltd. today.

Rating : 5 out of 5

Pros

  • Simple gameplay
  • Good controls
  • Great graphics and sound

Cons

  • May be considered too easy by some hardcore players, but thats about the only con I can think of.

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