Bumpin’ Uglies takes us to a strange cute world of disembodied looking heads. Game play straddles the physics puzzel come platformer genres The idea is that players drag a finger away from the Ugly (the disembodied head) and then fling them at their target. At first, this is simple and involves hardly any effort. The first couple of levels levels are quite straight forward, merely giving players an introduction to the techniques used.
Within the first world the difficulty of the challenges soon becomes apparent. Precise flicks are required to get the Ugly through narrow gaps, across platforms that rotate and out the other side of circular tunnels. Unlike other games similar to this, players don’t need to complete a stage within a certain number of moves or within a set time limit. It’s a refreshing step, taking the edge off any possible difficulty. Instead, players are presented with a number of Shineys that can be collected. These shineys not only give one a sense of achievement, but they can also be used to unlock special power-ups and new levels.
The power-ups are near vital at times. The shrinking action makes it possible to get into small nooks and crannies, while a speed boost makes it easier to get higher up within a level. The extends replayability does encourage players to spend real money on buying extra Shineys, thereby making things easier and unlocking new worlds.
It’s all quite keenly balanced, however, ensuring there’s fun to be had for free and also for an extra few cents. Being able to change the looks of individual Uglies is a neat touch too, adding a dose of personality to proceedings. Well planned out, Bumpin’ Uglies is a fun distraction, regardless of whether one wants to spend extra or not.