HydroTilt is a game in the same vein as Super Monkey Ball. In HydroTilt you are a small "blob" of water, with the goal of progressing through the various levels and bringing the "freeze cube" (which freezes you) to the goal point. You move by tilting the iPhone and flowing along the maze - but make sure you don't fall off the edge! Along the way you will encounter various obstacles and puzzles that require you to trigger switches, change you state (frozen or liquid), and generally just avoid falling.
You move by tilting the iPhone, making good use of the acceloromter. For anyone who has played Mercury Meltdown Revolution (MMR) on the Wii, this game is the same basic idea....well, except as noted below. I will be using MMR as a comparison point because the games are based on the same premise. When you are looking at the maze, you can double tap the screen to "draw back" and get a larger view of the maze (and scroll around as well).
(I call it a maze, but it is really more of a platform.)
The graphics are pretty straighfoward, nothing too shabby but nothing that will knock your socks off either. Unfortunately, the graphics of the liquid are limited - you don't see the droplet actually behaving like a liquid aside from a slight rippling effect every now and then. It seems to me that this game could really shine by boosting the graphics - making yourself "flow" around edges, respond to bumping walls, etc.
Also, one thing that MMR allows if for your to "split" yourself. You are, after all, a droplet of liquid, so you can split into two, or three, or more smaller droplets! This is not possible in Hydrotilt. This may be because some of the puzzles or means of moving around require your droplet to be a certain size (for example, when frozen you can slide along rails. If you are too small, you will fall through!).
As you progress through levels, you can unlock the next level. You can also go back and replay any level to try to beat your score. When you complete a level, aside from unlocking the next level, you don't get any bonuses or unlocked abilities. While there are some "puzzles" that need to be solved in Hydrotilt, the complexity of the levels is not to severe (not as complex as MMR). There is no multiplayer, nor is there anyway to enter your initials for the high score (so you can't directly compete with anyone else!).
The publisher has announced that there will be a level editor released, which could be lots of fun. Creating your own puzzles and levels would be great - I just hope there is a way to share them with other users!
There are no real "options" or ways to customize the game. Even something as simple as allowing the user to choose the color of their droplet would be fun.
Pros: Many levels, game play is entertaining
Cons: Limited graphics, no way to challenge other people's scores.
All in all, this is an okay game, but the graphics don't compare to any of the higher priced games. It can be a fun challenge, but there is little complexity or depth to the game itself. The good news is that it isn't too expensive - only $2.99. This is a little more than what I call the "throwaway prices" ($.99) but it isn't anything too expensive. If you like the various tilting/acceloromter type games, give this one a shot. Three and a half out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.