Aztec Quest Review (iPhone and iPod Touch)
Aztec Quest is an absolute gem of a puzzle game for iPhone and iPod Touch. Priced at £0.59p its a fantastic value, must have app for puzzle fans, logic game fans and anyone who likes a challenge. Hours and hours of entertainment, challenge and fun come from this bright, colourful, fun, family friendly, fantastic sounding game. Right now I can't think of a better way to spend £0.59p.
Like a lot of the great games or puzzles, the premise of Aztec Quest is very simple. Using a combination of 6 different elements you must guide the ball from it's starting point to the crystal located somewhere on the board. The 6 different elements are rollers, spring pads, hammers, curved tubes, teleport pads and catapults, and all available elements must be used to complete a level. Since all elements have to be used you can't take shortcuts and must complete the course in the way that it's author intended. There is a small bug in the game meaning you can take a short cut and then just arrange the remaining pieces in any remaining space, however you'll likely want to do each course in it's intended way or you'll feel unfulfilled and beaten!
There are 50 levels in the initial download, which depending on how quickly you crack each course should keep you busy for around 8 hours. With the ability to download extra levels for free, the playability and longevity of Aztec Quest is substantially increased. The game is accessible to players of just about any age or gaming experience, from younger players right the way through to older App Store gamers. The first few introductory levels are very easy and introduce you to each element and the game concept. They get progressively harder until the final 5-10 levels where they do get quite tough. Towards the final 5 levels I was using the 'Clue' option, which puts one of the available elements in the correct position, as they are particularly difficult.
It is a pick up and play game though it's so addictive you may find it hard to put down again. One of the few annoying parts of Aztec Quest is that it won't save your progress mid-level, so if you close down a game with a few elements in place, the next time you load up it won't have saved and you'll have to start from scratch.
Looks wise Aztec Quest is bright, vibrant, well animated and colourful. Movement is well animated and together with the individual animations and sounds of the elements stops the game looking or feeling boring. There is an excellent, slightly hypnotic soundtrack to accompany the game and surprisingly and unusually for this kind of game doesn't get too repetitive or boring. Each element has it's own noise as well, which is quite fun and entertaining and adds a little depth and polish to the game. Should you get bored of the soundtrack you can add music from your library to the play list, a big plus in a lot of people's books as generally most people would rather be listening to their own tracks.
The online level/puzzle download is an excellent feature and substantially extends the lifespan of the game. It's easy to download levels, fast and works fine over 3G or even Edge connection. With hundreds of levels to download and try out, it could keep you playing Aztec Quest indefinitely. You can extend the lifespan further by taking on the challenge of making your own levels. When you begin to appreciate and love the logic and premise of the game, as you likely will, putting this into practice with the level builder is rewarding and brings a new element to the game. The level builder basically gives you a blank canvas to arrange the start point, target diamond and any elements in any order, creating your own level.
This game is recommended for puzzle fans, sudoku or crossword players and fans of logic games. It isn't the easiest or simplest game and by the time you're half way through the initial 50 levels you will need to engage your brain but if you're willing to make the effort you'll be rewarded with a fun, addictive and taxing app store game. It's a new genre of puzzle, unique to the digital age and the digital generation, with endless possibilities. A must have app.