What do you get when you mix stretchy goo, panda dolls and bamboo rings? AirBear from Origin8 is an engaging arcade style iPhone game where you help a panda bear propel high into the sky as he bounces off lines of goo that you draw on the screen, while collecting rings that help give you more goo hopping power.
The game can be played in either the Endless mode or Homeward Bound mode. In Endless mode you just jump as high as you can along a skyscraper and draw trampolines made of blue goo under your bouncing Panda Bear to help him from falling and shoot him up more enough to collect more rings. The blue goo dries up and fades away quickly so timing and placement of your goo drawings are essential. You can also descend into a well after you unlock that level.
Homeward Bound mode is much more eventful and fun as you move up through a house. Work your way from the basement to the hallway, bedroom, the attic, and finally the tree house. Collecting jigsaw puzzles helps you boost your battery juice which helps power your spinning hat that will help the Panda hover for a limited time. There are 56 jigsaw pieces to collect. There are also dangerous red cherry bombs that you better avoid, or risk getting a few body parts blown off. If you lose all your parts you’ll be a dead Panda. You can try to avoid the red bombs by tilting your iPhone left and right for maneuvering. There is another power-up that blows a gust of wind under your Panda to help push him up more.
The Panda bear itself is physics based so its body parts flop around it gets tossed up into the air. The graphics are smooth and the gameplay is fun and exciting. The use of disappearing goo is quite original for a jumping app. If you miss a goo line, you can redeem yourself before you hit the ground by drawing another line. If you run out of rings, you can get more as you’re falling, which is another attractive features since unlike other jumping games, one wrong move won’t end the game. The background music is a fun composition and adds to the toy like effect of the game, and the sound effects pop out but feel natural. If you get tired of the music you can also listen to your iPod while playing. As with all Origin8 games, AirBear integrates online scores and user profiles using the OpenFeint network. If you’re a fan of Physics based games you should really grab a copy of AirBear as it wins in pretty much every criteria of a killer gaming experience that gives a whole new meaning to the word goo goo dolls.
Here is a video demo of the AirBear app on the iPhone
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