It’s always nice to get a hold of a game where the very act of moving from point A to point B is fun. This is one of the best things about Somersault, a platformer with lush 3D graphics from German developer Enter-Brain-Ment. Just bouncing around the levels by drawing walls will put a smile on your face.
In Somersault, you control a character named Flip Fullfeather as he tries to rescue his friends from the evil Dr. Proto and reunite his fractured homeworld. To move this somersaulting hero, you can draw a small line anywhere you like on the screen. The longer your line, the further Flip will go when he bounces off of it, and you can set the angle to aim him into coins and around obstacles. Holding your finger down will also slow down the action slightly.
Eat, Pray, Love.
This mechanic is used in a variety of interesting ways. You’ll have to draw walls to stop Flip from flying into tubes full of gushing milk in a cake and candy-themed level, or navigate him out of electrified pens when you make your final assault on the villain’s spaceship. There’s also an on-rails shooting sequence as Flip rides an orange whale, and you simply tap where you want Flip to shoot his lasers.
Throughout Flip’s quest, the environments are wonderfully varied. Somersault is based on a PC game, and it shows in the backgrounds’ attention to detail. However, the game always moves at a slow and steady pace, and it never matches the excitement of a platformer like Sonic the Hedgehog.
Domo arigato, Dr. Proto.
As you progress, you can replay any level for a better medal, but besides OpenFeint scores, we didn’t see any compelling reason why we should. The overall experience of playing Somersault is unique and interesting, but once is probably enough to see everything there is to see.
Somersault is a gorgeous-looking game, and that and the interesting level variety might be enough for many action gamers. But its slow pace could definitely impact your enjoyment. For the price, you’ll get a good amount of entertainment out of Somersault, and the colorful graphics make it a great game to load up on a kid’s iPod Touch.