The award-winning iBlast Moki left quite an impression when it came out in 2009. It was one of the best physics puzzlers at the time, and it still holds up today. This week we’re treated to the release of its sequel, which certainly has some high expectations attached to it. Does it stand up to the original? We definitely think so.
If you’ve played the first iBlast Moki, its sequel won’t feel alien at all. Fortunately, it does what any good sequel should: it gives players more of what they enjoyed in the original, with better presentation and some new twists on the gameplay. You’re still going to be using bombs to propel Mokis towards a portal, but this game is also graced by an absolutely delightful aesthetic and new tools for solving puzzles.
New in iBlast Moki 2 are paint bombs that can cause your Mokis to get glued to objects, get a speed boost, or hop away from the surface that’s been painted. They help to make the puzzle-solving literally more colorful, and they’re a welcome addition to a game that’s already remarkably vibrant. The game’s soundtrack alone is enough to charm us, and the hi-res graphics are fantastic.
The levels themselves are fun to look at too, and they’re much more visually creative than the ones found in the original game. While we think iBlast Moki 2′s stages have a lot more character than the original game’s puzzles did, we would also argue that the puzzles are generally easier this time around. The game’s difficulty curve felt a little bit uneven too, with very simple levels mixed among stages that had us totally stumped. The more maddening puzzles reveal one of the game’s new features: the ability to see winning solutions from high-ranking players, as well as the game’s developers.
Unfortunately, these solutions are hidden behind a paywall of sorts. To see replays of any given level– whether you’ve already completed it or not, you need to use a Moki Coin. You’ll earn some of these credits playing through the game, but not enough to see more than two or three levels’ worth of replays. We don’t blame Godzilab for wanting to get paid, but charging players to see user-generated content doesn’t feel quite right.
The game also ships with very impressive tools for creating and sharing levels, which can be browsed and downloaded easily. Game Center and OpenFeint support are also in the game, and the game’s leaderboards are implemented very well, with top scores for a level displayed the instant you complete a level yourself. Finding out how to exploit the game’s physics for better finish times will undoubtedly keep a lot of players coming back to play levels they’ve already solved.
iBlast Moki 2 is very nearly a perfect sequel, successfully building upon the foundation of its predecessor. The viscerally satisfying gameplay has been retained from the original, and there’s enough new content to make anybody who enjoyed the first game very happy.