Game Reviews

Topple 2

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| Topple 2
Topple 2
| Topple 2

Just because you grow weary of your abode doesn't mean you should move. Renovation might be all you need to freshen things up. An addition, some paint, and a few embellishments can turn the old into something new and fresh.

With a slate of new elements and features Topple 2 does exactly that: it builds upon the solid foundation of the original, even if it doesn't do enough to bring the house down.

Through the course of the six act campaign, the goal is to assemble various blocks into a sustainable tower that rises to a specified height. Each stage presents a measured goal to be met with a random assortment of blocks. Small and large cubes give way to trickier L- and S-shaped blocks, all needing a place in your makeshift skyscrapers.

Blocks appearing on the screen are manipulated with a swipe of your finger. You can rotate pieces by sliding two fingers away from each other vertically (one finger goes up, while the other down). Should your tower start leaning, you're able to tilt your handset to keep things from falling apart. It's only a stopgap measure, though, since only study creations can soar.

Physics play a fundamental role in toppling hastily built edifices. While each stage is timed, you're encouraged to quickly and efficiently manipulate blocks to form a viable structure.

Learning how to do this is only the first challenge of Topple 2. As soon you feel comfortable with the basics of building, the game brings in a steady stream of tricks that complicate things.

Topple 2 wisely minimises the use of unshapely foundations that caused headache in the original, replacing them with a whole batch of new twists. Upside-down levels force you to construct inverted towers and end-of-act challenges have you raising a tower as a means for transporting a fragile egg to the base.

The creativity in these levels is undeniable, even if their level of difficulty is worth questioning. These are tough tasks that require an irritating exactness. It isn't uncommon to replay a stage over and over again, each attempt failing due to the smallest of movements or precipitously-placed block.

To say that it's fair that questionably set blocks should cause a tower to topple misses the point: every block in Topple 2 is precariously positioned. It just so happens that some are towers hold together better than others.

Methodical construction increases your chances of stability, but even then there's a chance your creation will crumble under the pull of physics.

The finicky nature of tower building actually works in the game's favour when it comes to two-player Versus. Live play via local wireless connection or back and forth e-mail challenges encourage lofty competition.

This, along with a slew of achievements, gives Topple 2 more replay value than the original. Ultimately the core game remains the same, but bit of renovation has provided a much needed freshening up.

Topple 2

A renovation that brings inventive new challenges and features, while preserving the tough gameplay foundation of the original