Jules Unboxing the World is a ball-rolling game or, more precisely, a pet-rolling game. But Jules isn’t your average house pet– he’s a sleek hybrid of what appears to be a fox and a rabbit, with a ball attached to his tail. He curls up, and you tilt your iPad to steer him through locations scattered across the globe.
The reason for this all this travel is that a race of box-shaped creatures has suddenly appeared and trapped all humans in individual wooden shipping crates. These crates are scattered through each level, and to get the people out you just roll Jules into them. However, the evil creatures also wander around the levels, and bumping into them turns Jules into a box. To make matters worse, the environments are often ringed by pits waiting to swallow an out-of-control Jules.
All of this sounds like the bizarre hijinks of a fun, creative game, and it almost is. But there’s a major game-crippling flaw: the controls. As you tilt the iPad, Jules seems to have a mind of his own. He quickly builds up momentum that’s nearly impossible to stop, and his turning radius feels far wider than it should be. Without the precise tilt controls and realistic physics that, say, Labyrinth 2 HD nailed, Jules Unboxing the World never feels like a functional game.
And it’s a shame, because there’s a lot to love otherwise. You get 30 well-made levels, some of which feature warp gates, switches, or other puzzle elements that are fun to figure out. As you progress, you unlock four minigame-like endless modes that offer a decent diversion from the main gameplay. And the graphics and presentation are satisfyingly unique and excellent.
But when the only input you have at your disposal is tilt, botching the controls botches the game. Compounding matters, the frame rate frequently stutters unless you’ve recently rebooted your iPad, adding to the control frustration.
If an update comes out to fix the controls, we’ll be sure to revisit Jules Unboxing the World, because it exhibits a great deal of potential. But until then, you’ll probably want to keep this one in its box.