You can’t help but feel in a Caribbean mood from the games intro music, if you don’t find yourself tapping your foot to the steel drums, there’s something wrong with you! The Tito’s Shell interface and level selector is very much like that of Angry Birds, and once I saw this a-la Angry Birds Style, I did groan. Now, I like Angry Birds, I often play it on the train to work. But I didn’t feel in the mood for another copy cat app I feel like, I’ve been there done that, with other mobile games, Siege Hero and Dead Stop, I’m looking at you!
However I was pleasantly surprised when I’d surpassed the Angry Birds similarities, you didn’t need to throw Tito from one side of the screen to the other and hope he would re-attach himself to his shell, you do have to use ropes, blocks, bubbles and other various tools available to you, in order to complete each level.
Like most games, you’ve got the tutorial stage at the beginning, which was much needed, as the older I get, the less I remember how things work. A few levels in, you’ll become aware that the longer it takes you to complete a level, the less stars you’ll receive, which is nothing new. We’ve seen this before in the games I’ve mentioned above, but what I do enjoy, is the extra pressure from seeing the stars ebb away with time (these can be found at the top of the screen). I can’t help but feel like I’ve got to do it faster, which for me personally makes a game more challenging and interesting. (I’m just glad it didn’t give me a countdown clock with flashing lights, I really would have been in trouble then!)
If you really are too slow, once you complete a level, Tito will be shown, trying to catch his breath, just to force home how much effort on his behalf it’s been to get his shell back, rather funny and cute. If you are super quick, he’ll have a trophy and a beaming smile, you just can’t help but want to assist the hapless little guy in getting his shell back.
Another thing in the game, that I find extremely funny and completely hilarious is, if you knock Tito off a ledge, or into a spiky sea creature, he gasps and looks rather heartbroken at the loss of his shell. He’ll also listen to music and yawn, if you take too long trying to figure out what to do. Reminds me of when Sonic used to tap his foot waiting for some input from the player.
There are three chapters containing fifteen levels each, again here the similarities to Angry Birds come in, the level selection is set out the same way, the way in which upgrades in enemies and items available to you is the same and it’s the same price. It’s not Angry Birds fault they are so successful at what they do, that puzzler games like Dead Stop, Tito’s Shell and Siege Hero, feel the need to set up the same kind of interface, maybe this is the style Apple currently only supports?
OK, I promise no more Angry Birds, you might think that this game is a really bad knock off of the previous said game, but it’s not, it’s actually quite a lot of fun. I can’t bear games where you get a few levels that are different and there’s nothing left to think about. A few Tito’s Shell levels did leave me stuck, while I’m happy to say, I didn’t have to You Tube the answers, I was left sitting on the toilet for longer than expected, trying to work out how to move the exploding sea urchins, in order to reunite Tito and shell. Which was followed by a few grunts from failing, and air punching on victory. Not fantastic tactics when you’re using the public toilets. I did finish the game quite quickly, and I look forward to receiving updates with harder puzzles.
I also liked the option to listen to my own music while playing the game, while I’m all for the Caribbean band and rum punch, I like a change every now and then. Some games lack this option and you find you reach for the mute button sooner rather than later, which I find really does hinder game play.
The long and short of this is, Tito’s Shell is addictive, it’s one of those ‘just one more level!’ games, you have to finish the one your on, and you’re that hooked, that you have to complete the following, and so on. You’ll have a hard time breaking away from it, until you’ve completed all forty five levels. I’m not sure if it’s got the pulling power Angry Birds has, I feel any game after Angry Birds will be under shadowed, but I personally enjoyed playing this game, and importantly, so did my kids!