Do you like Cut the Rope? Good, because Save Yammi is basically just more of the same, so you can go home now.
Actually, that’s not really fair.
Sure, that is the initial impression we took when we first saw the game: the character designs, the premise, the backgrounds, nearly everything about it feels like it has been lifted from Chillingo’s Cut the Rope– even the app icon is similar. One could even call this the unofficial sequel. In fact, the only thing that would really prevent this from being the official sequel is that it was made by another company called Bulkypix.
Draw the rope.
And really, while much of the game design was no doubt made to capitalize on the success of Cut the Rope, the fact is that its highly-derivative nature could arguably undermine what is actually a game that’s nearly every bit as good as its predecessor. Strip away the similar aesthetics, and Save Yammi is very much to Cut the Rope what Dr. Mario is to Tetris.
In Cut the Rope, the main objective is to deliver pieces of candy to the waiting mouth of Om Nom by cutting different pieces of rope, maneuvering the candy and trying to collect stars along the way. In Save Yammi, the objective is essentially the same: to deliver cookies to the waiting mouth of Yammi, a creature who by all appearances looks as though he could be Om Nom’s distant cousin.
But instead of cutting ropes, you must instead create them by drawing lines across the screen for the cookie to roll along as gravity does its thing. And you can draw as many pieces of rope– er, “string” as you need, provided there is still enough left on a spool at the top of the screen. The string acts like string, too… or, close enough for all intents and purposes. In other words, if you try to draw the string in, say, a stair-like pattern, gravity will take over when you are done and straighten it out, thus adding an element of strategy to the proceedings.
Mushroom Kingdom green.
Yammi is a much more finicky eater than his green cousin, too. Before he will indulge in the cookie you worked so hard to deliver to him, it must first collect three yellow stars spread around each stage. There are orange-hued stars as well, but those are merely for bonus points. As you proceed through the levels, new tools and obstacles begin to appear, including gravity-defying bubbles (set on a timer), portals that warp you across the stage, cookie-crumbling thunderclouds, and shields to protect you from said clouds.
In addition to the above tools at your disposal, Save Yammi also allows use of the iPhone’s accelerometer. By tilting the iPhone, you can move an otherwise static cookie along ramps, strings, and other surfaces, adding a slightly more immersive feel than Cut the Rope offers. For all its similarities on the surface, Save Yammi plays very differently at its core, and that is what truly sets it apart if given the chance.
But in the end, what you are probably here for is not to know how similar Save Yammi is to another game, but whether or not it is any good on its own merits. And it most definitely is. It does have a couple of small flaws, but nothing serious. Whether you’ve played Cut the Rope or not, Save Yammi is definitely worth playing.