Tic Toc Body Pop is all about being strange. Quirky gameplay and surreal themes certainly help make this action puzzler feel unique in the App Store. Like so many games on your iPhone, this one focuses on a single style of gameplay– in this case, matching up the limbs of a mannequin-like character to the opening in an oncoming ‘wall of death’.
Thankfully, the actual game isn’t nearly so serious as a “wall of death” makes it sound. The graphics are bright and colorful, and your mannequin is expressively happy. He is stuck on a conveyor belt, with the wall coming up from behind at a steady pace. You have a limited amount of time to manipulate his limbs (each with two joints) to match the position on the wall so he can pass through unharmed.
The difficulty frequently ramps up by forcing you to reposition or rotate his body to match the exact position on the wall. Some of the levels throw in pitfalls like saw blades that will knock him out of position, making the pacing feel more urgent.
Stretch before attempting.
Moving limbs around takes a few minutes to get the hang of, and even then the game doesn’t always feel dead-on responsive. Rotating his entire body is a bit more difficult than it should be as well, but none of these problems ruin Tic Toc Body Pop. It’s a fun concept, though astute console gamers will recognize the bizarre concept from the downloadable Wii title, Muscle March– a game that actually manages to be much more weird.
The biggest problem with Tic Toc Body Pop is that even though the scenery and pitfalls change, the core gameplay really doesn’t vary. The game contains 30 levels, with the promise of more on the way, but we imagine many players will lose interest before finishing it. To help add more variety, Tic Toc Body Pop supports OpenFeint for online leaderboards as well (though not Game Center), and includes an array of unlockable costumes and achievements.
Strange and engaging for a while at least, Tic Toc Body Pop is worth checking out just because it’s so different from the usual puzzle games that hit the App Store. Its welcome might wear out before the end, but for an unusual good time, this is a solid buy.