It’s hard to pull off a solid side-scroller on the iPhone. The screen is small, controls are difficult to navigate, and Mario has already been invented. Still, Chillingo’s SpinTrip takes a valiant stab at the task and comes up with a Technicolor world that’s pretty fun.
SpinTrip is based in an intricate zen-like land called ‘Tisu. The ecosystem in this land is diverse, and although the characteristics of its creatures are familiar, every critter has a specific purpose. Part of the fun of SpinTrip is learning this land. The rest is the sheer appeal of racing through each level like a loose racecar.
SpinTrip adventures commandeered by a protagonist that rolls (instead of walks) in a circular wheel. His goal is to get to a portal at the end of each level, but before he hits the door to salvation, there’s a lot that stands in his way.
For starters, SpinTrip has a whole collection of enemies, from standing oil puddles to floating space guys and little black blobs. It’s your job to avoid these bad guys or stop them in their tracks with spitters, but the only way to fight instead of flee is to have the right equipment in the first place.
After all, SpinTrip’s biggest differentiator is its cavalcade of chibs. Chibs are brightly colored characters with a specific purpose. Some chibs help your character jump high while others spit at enemies. Other chibs rocket through the atmosphere, float on water, or slice through ice.
Acquiring chibs is as simple as rolling through them on your adventures and then tapping on your supply along the top of the screen to put them into use. Because you only have a limited supply of chibs it’s important to use them carefully, which means that any way you dice it, ‘Tisu is an intricate game.
Fortunately AbleMagic, the Norway based creators of SpinTrip, aid newbies through the learning process with a wise man that offers hints along the way. This helps a lot, especially because every level is based in a unique land full of twists and turns.
Sometimes all the effort it takes to get the right chib combined with the fast moving roll controls makes for a tough run, but for the most part SpinTrip delivers an adorable little world where just about anything can happen.
Bottom Line:: SpinTrip is a fast paced side-scroller full of color. It’s cute enough to make you say “aww,” but solid enough to appeal to gamers looking for a new world to conquer.