Price: $0.99   Score: 8.5/10   Category: Games

After two-dimensional physics puzzlers such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope dominated the app store in 2010, everyone’s looking for what is next — and I think I’ve found it. Save Toshi offers excellent three-dimensional physics puzzles wrapped up in a strange sense of humor that is Toshi.

In Save Toshi, the Japanese pop star Toshi is stranded in the middle of a lake, and all she wants to do is dance. Your goal is to move her to a dance floor so she can boogie. You can move the camera and fire balls at the screen to affect the environment, but you can’t shoot Toshi herself, or let her fall into the water – this will result in termination of the level.

Instead, you’ll take aim at the objects around her, which include wooden blocks that can break, heavy concrete balls that will roll, and sheets of ice that Toshi can skate along. The levels are small and compact, but it usually takes some experimenting to find the right combination of moves to launch, slide, or push Toshi onto the dance floor.

When she arrives safely, Toshi breaks out into an adorable dance that seems like the perfect reward for your success. Just like the shouts of joy from the Angry Birds or Om Nom’s smug grin in Cut The Rope, Save Toshi provides a fun celebration after beating each level.

You’ll also receive up to three stars for beating each level with the recommended number of shots. This goal usually gives you a hint about where to shoot, and Save Toshi’s levels are so well-designed that random or haphazard firing is never the best solution.

I personally enjoyed every single one of the game’s 60 levels and the unique challenge offered by each one, and the two promised level packs can’t launch any sooner.  It is a bit disconcerting to hear Toshi scream or cough when you accidentally knock her overboard, and most of her lines are extremely silly and comedic, like “help me, handsome you”. If Toshi’s voice bothers you more than it is meant to, you can easily silence the sound and still enjoy the puzzles.

Before Save Toshi! came along, everyone had almost forgotten that iPhone physics puzzlers don’t have to be a duplicate of Angry Birds or Cut The Rope. If you’ve already collected all the stars, eggs, and rewards in those other puzzle games, maybe its time you try taking Toshi to the dance floor.


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