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Dizzy Bee (iPhone)

Review by Ben Briggs, October 28, 2008

iPhone integration (About)
  • Save state: No
  • iPod music: Yes
  • Status bar: No
  • Version: 1.4
  • Price as reviewed: £1.79
  • by Igloo Games

The first game from Igloo Games comes with a simple premise; tilt Dizzy Bee around a small maze, picking up flowers and rescuing his fruit friends, who have been locked away in ice cages. The challenge comes with the monsters in the game, only known to the player as 'something dangerous' - because, as you tilt the maze to move Dizzy Bee around, you also move the enemies, which come in many different forms. Only by avoiding these critters, vacuuming up the flowers, and saving your fruit friends all in one chain can you achieve 100% on the level.

There are 40 levels spread across 8 small islands - by completing levels with at least a bronze badge (save at least one fruit and guide Dizzy Bee to the exit), you will gain access to the other islands with your boat. Levels can be attempted in any order, which is great if you're stuck on a particularly hard one and would like to try it again later. There is also a hidden island which you cannot get to all of the time, but it's levels are unlocked as you gain gold/perfect badges. These bonus stages are a great incentive to keep playing the game and improving upon your score.

You can tell that the presentation has been thought out very carefully

The game is almost entirely tilt controlled, with the exception of the menu system - although even that reacts to the orientation of your iPhone. The level design is excellent, and there are a good mix of easy, medium and hard levels, as well as many enemies, locks/keys, switches and more to keep the gameplay fresh and involving. There's no calibration to speak of, it just feels intuitive. You can literally pick up the game and play it, no instructions necessary (although there are minimal instructions when starting for the first time), and it feels just right for an iPhone game. If you ever get stuck (happens sometimes when you have all your fruit buddies in a cramped passage), just give the device a little shake and you'll unstick whatever was stuck.

The graphics in Dizzy Bee are fantastic, and really look amazing on the iPhone - the animations are great, and seeing everything roll about the screen is superb fun. You can tell that the presentation has been thought out very carefully, and I experienced no crashes, glitches or bugs whilst playing. Sound effects are wonderful, if a little sparse, and there's no soundtrack - some short loops are present in a few of the stages, however. You'll want to move Dizzy Bee around the map just to hear his buzzing sound again and again.

Overall, Dizzy Bee looks beautiful and plays excellently. However, there's just a couple of things that prevented me from giving this game a perfect score; although Igloo Games have created a great game menu system, it's let down slightly by the use of Apple standard popups. I would have liked to have seen the custom UI for things like the pause menu, quit menu, and introductory text when you begin a new game. The second thing is I think the game is a little on the short side - some levels can be completed in a minute or less, which makes for a couple of hours solid gameplay.

Dizzy Bee also doesn't save state once you press Home - for levels that take more time and planning, it can be annoying to restart the stage. We don't understand why this feature hasn't been added - it's practiced by just about every game we've played. Other than these issues, at £1.79 you are certainly getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Grade: A, Outstanding

Dizzy Bee is, quite simply, a wonderful game. Deceptively hard, challenging and fun, it will deserve a special place on your iPhone.

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