Jun 30, 2011

Burn the Rope

Edit: Burn the Rope is the second of a block of three puzzle games we are reviewing (the others being Nano Panda and Cut the Rope).

Burn the Rope is a puzzle game that involves setting rope on fire and who doesn't like setting stuff on fire? Ok, so now that I've revealed my inner pyromaniac that reminds me of a story. Back when I was younger my brother and I broke the long, green, plastic handle of a brush my Mom used for cleaning. Naturally we didn't want to get in trouble so we had to fix it. We didn't have any super glue, but we DID have a gas stove with which to work so we decided that it would be best to fuse it back together with the help of an open flame. We carefully held the two pieces together over the flame and watched in horror as instead of smoothly melting the plastic back together it quickly turned the plastic from green to a dark black. Next stop... the trash can. And of course Mom found it and we had some explaining to do that probably would have gone better if the plastic hadn't been black. So, the moral of this is that if you have to set stuff on fire do it on your phone or tablet computer and not in the real world. Back to the game...

Burn the Rope features a series of puzzles in which your goal is to burn as much of the rope as possible. You are graded on the Qix (old arcade game) scale by completing a percentage of the rope and have to meet a minimum in order to pass on to the next level. For some reason the flame in this game only burns upwards although no explanation for this is provided. Because it only burns upwards you'll be twisting and turning your phone around in circles and it'll be very easy for your boss to tell that you're not working on a spreadsheet. However, all this twisting does make the game more interesting. I was able to quickly rotate my tablet back and forth to keep flames going in both directions, but that was a pain and really isn't the idea. The first puzzle features something that is kind of star shaped and you'll be spinning your phone around to consume all of the rope with ease. Subsequent puzzles require directional shifts and some planning in terms of where to start the flame. Shortly thereafter, little colored ants crawl around the rope and buring them is worth bonus points and also changes the color of the flame. See where that's going? Yes, next you've got different colored ropes that can only be consumed by a flame of the same color. And, of course, more stuff is added as the game progresses such as a light's out mode in which the screen goes dark and you have to remember where your spark needs to travel in order to burn the rope.

Burn the Rope's graphics are, once again, good enough for a puzzler. It's got a nice sizzlin' sound for the rope burning and plays smoothly. I didn't have any issues with starting my flame via touching a part of the rope and the rotation of my device gave me a different puzzle experience than I've had with other puzzle games. And as for the puzzles, I have found them to be of reasonable complexity with a good, smooth increase in difficulty as I continue to play. My initial feeling was that there wasn't much here, but as the game progressed I realized that there is far more to it than meets the eye including a heavy timing element in later levels. However, with all of the flipping my phone around, I'd have to rate this as more of a combination puzzler and dexterity game than just a puzzler.

qrcodeBurn the Rope is available as ad supported direct from the Android Market and can be upgraded to remove the ads (I think that's what the upgrade does??) via an in app purchase. I'd have to say that Burn the Rope isn't quite as puzzling as Nano Pandas as I was never really stumped on any of the puzzles that I've tried for longer than about 5 seconds (and I've gotten pretty deep into the game). It does add the dexterity element, though, which makes for an interesting experience that only time will tell if it's pure novelty. It also adds a Puzzle of the Day feature which is interesting in addition to the basic 'campaign' and a 'coming soon' campaign. Do I like it? Yes. It's very good for now, but I suspect that will drop to a good as the dexterity element becomes old hat. 4/5 stars.


  1. Just one copy editing comment -- the QR code seems to by for the game Glyder 2...not Burn the Rope...


  2. Thanks for letting me know! Fixed.