They say that a champion has to work doubly hard to keep her position at the top of her chosen profession.
It's a saying that Om Nom, the star of Cut the Rope and its two follow-ups to date, has taken to heart for this - the first outright sequel.
With main rival Angry Birds getting ever more out there (far far away, you might even say), and Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage picking up the physics-puzzler flag and sprinting into the distance with it, Om Nom has had to get active.Eating on the go
No longer content to sit there and be fed chunks of candy like a sprout-headed child, our hero is now a chuckable, swingable object just like almost everything else in Cut the Rope 2.
This increased physicality is just one of several subtle improvements that make Cut the Rope 2 feel like a worthy and even more dynamic sequel.
You'll find yourself shunting Om Nom over towards the candy - a clever inversion of the original game's setup - and even timing two processes so that the two key components meet in mid-air.
This deeper physics implementation means that Cut the Rope 2's seemingly simple single-screen conundrums can often be tackled in a couple of different ways. You may even stumble upon a solution by accident, which isn't as annoying as it sounds.Your friends are tools
The other major addition here is the new helper characters that Om Nom will encounter in each of the five worlds.
The first one you'll come across is like a little drone helicopter, capable of picking up and dropping Om Nom, the candy, or any other movable object from point to the other.
That's pretty dull compared with the rest, though. There's also one that extends its sticky tongue across the screen, creating and removing platforms and allowing you to form impromptu cable cars with the right combination of rope, cookie, and balloon.
And you'll encounter a helper that springs Om Nom or the candy into the air, but not before our favourite - the helper that multiplies every time you tap it, creating pop-up towers that can be toppled and put to use in multiple ways. There's also one that scares Om Nom into jumping to one side.Taking candy from an Om Nom
Thankfully, ZeptoLab has gone easy on the in-app purchases, sticking close to the premium template that helped make its name.
That's not to say that Cut the Rope 2 doesn't feature IAPs at all, though, and their minor implementation is also one of the game's minor irritants.
You can purchase new costume packs for Om Nom and the candy, which is fine by us. But the annoying bit comes from the ability to purchase power-ups, particularly packs of balloons, which can be attached to any object in the game to give them an extra lift.
This would be fine were it not for the fact that the some of the four-leaf clover collectibles that you'll encounter - the key to unlocking each world's stash of secret levels - seem impossible to gather without this balloon power-up. So you have to spend to see everything.Still swinging
Fortunately, there's another extra diversion that doesn't require any expenditure in the shape of additional level goals.
In order to gain a medal for each stage on top of the three-star rating, you might need to complete it without a certain piece of level furniture, or to accrue an extremely high score (which usually entails doing it all very quickly).
This is completely optional, but it's a nice touch for the hardcore Cut the Rope fans out there. And that's who Cut the Rope 2 is really aimed at.
Cut the Rope 2 is the same basic game of swing physics, timing and ingenuity as the original, but it's notably more dynamic. It's a relatively conservative step forward, yes, but it's one that just about deserves that '2' on the end of its title, not to mention the '8' at the end of this review.
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