If you’ve ever been frustrated by the virtual uselessness of the Microsoft Office assistant, Clippit, Alex Schwartz’s new iPhone app, SpringFling, just might be the cure for you. With googly eyes and wiry frame, the spring’s resemblance to Clippit is a tad uncanny, but is so much more satisfying to utilize. What you’re basically doing is jumping up as far as you can, but this game app has all sorts of exciting little additions that make it so much more than that.
When you hit play, it takes you into a Level Select menu where the first choice is a tutorial. Lookout for the flashing cog over in the lower left hand corner, because that’s where you’ll be able to customize your spring with hats, glasses, and mustaches. Some of the costume items are locked until you find them while you play. There are two types of levels, Static (in which the screen only moves when you jump) and Scrolling (in which the screen is in continuous motion). Scrolling is a tad more challenging, as you must make sure to stay above the bottom of the screen. Once you choose a level, to make the spring jump, just touch your finger anywhere on the screen and drag down to compress the spring–the further you pull, the more force the spring will have. You can angle the jumps by dragging left or right. You’ll hit many power-ups along the way, such as rockets or pogo sticks. In Static levels, you get a certain number of jumps before you have to recharge; in Scrolling levels, they continuously deplete, even if you’re not jumping. You recharge when you make a Nascar-like pit stop. Falling out of sight will result in a loss, but you can retry over and over.
SpringFling is a simple concept, but with addictive extras. The power-ups are a lot of fun to use, but the landings are a bit difficult to do initially. The five worlds are different enough to enjoy, and are pretty much endlessly tall, so you can play for as long as you want. This makes this game app a little less goal-oriented than others, unless you’re comparing heights achieved on the Leaderboard. One of the nice things about SpringFling’s retries is that they’re never the same twice, so playing the same world doesn’t get stale. The music is catchy, the graphics are fun and cute, and the physics are great. Oh, and the random facts when you hit Pause will make you grin. This iPhone app is definitely worth its price tag, as you’ll probably go back to it again and again.
Here is a video demo of the SpringFling app on the iPhone
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