It doesn't borrow elements from these games so much as take inspiration from each to present a quirky and altogether original adventure. Along with an abundance of style, Gomi becomes an essential addition to your catalogue.
Your objective is to clear the world of manmade debris: road signs, cars, phone boxes, junk, even people are gobbled up as you roll over them. Your spherical ecologist can only absorb objects of a reasonable size, however, growing the more it eats and allowing you to pick up larger pieces of flotsam and jetsam replaced with flowering plants.
It's a topical premise, handled with enough care and joviality to ensure you're not having some preachy ecological sermon pushed down your throat. Instead you’re simply working toward a clear and entertaining goal.
Gomi is built of small, floating islands, each with its own gravity system. Tilting the handset rolls your rotund avatar left and right on these tiny planets, while tapping the screen makes it jump. Upon jumping to an adjacent world, Gomi naturally follows its contours as you roll around.
Each level has its own specifics, such as gathering up a certain number of balloons, which unlocks the next world. There’s a lot more to it with races and dexterity challenges thrown into the mix. With over 40 levels across eight massive worlds, it’s easy to see why the game requires a 60MB download.
As you make progress, your character can even be customised with new colours and special abilities, further adding to its long term value.
A host of achievements that require you to revisit previous levels even after you’ve completed the game also extend play. Challenges such as hitting strict time limits, performing combos, and nailing those elusive high scores provide good reason to replay.
One justifiable complaint is the game's slow pace. At times you find yourself tipping the handset until it’s nearly vertical in an attempt to light a fire under your guy. It’s not intended to be a racing game, of course, but a tad more alacrity would add a slice of tension to the gameplay. It’s currently a bit too sedate.
The beautiful abundance of cel-shaded, dreamlike aesthetics add real sense of style. The jam-packed complexity of the world you initially enter is gradually transformed into a peaceful, natural realm as you go to work, offering a sense of supreme wellbeing as the levels roll past.Gomi boasts the kind of casual ingenuity that jump-started the iPhone craze in the first place and proves that even after 65,000 applications there's still a depth of creativity beneath the touchscreen waiting for games like this to unlock it.