Help Pyd the alien pilot his UFO to deliver pizzas all across the galaxy. SpinCraft is a free-to-play game for iOS devices (iPad version reviewed here). Similar to games like Super Monkey Ball, help maneuver Pyd’s UFO around 3-D checkerboard mazes, avoiding enemies, obstacles, and pitfalls. Collect three special yellow gems in each level to open a portal and move onto the next stage. I’m not sure how that correlates into delivering pizzas, but oh well. Now I’m hungry.
In each maze are crystals you can crush with a spin attack. You can also spin into enemies to swat them away. Earn coins by spinning into crystals and enemies, and also by completing levels quickly. Use those coins to buy upgrades so you can spin attack harder crystals, hover longer, don new outfits, and more. Hidden in every level are secret pizzas to find, too.
One of the two main problems with this game is the play control. You move around the UFO with a virtual thumbpad joystick and tap button icons for jumping, hovering, and spinning. But the controls are hard to get used to and feel a bit unresponsive, especially when you have to jump on small dinner plate-sized platforms in higher, tougher levels.
The other problem is that even though it’s a free to play game, upgrades you purchase with coins collected in the levels cost way too much to buy. So unless you play it forever, the only way you’ll see upgrades and new levels is to buy them with real money online at the App store. So the game will nickel and dime you to death. Which is a shame because this type of game would be perfect on a platform like the 3DS eShop where bad controls and cost wouldn’t be a problem. But at least the meat of the game is free to play if you want to try it out.
SpinCraft isn’t rated by the ESRB, but it’s safe for any age. No violence other than spinning into enemies to knock them away, or falling off cliffs. Even if your UFO explodes after taking too many hits, your alien jumps out in time. Reading skill is helpful for the instructions, and younger gamers may get frustrated at the controls and difficulty of later levels.