Released by Emantras, Rafter is a unique take on physics-based gaming. Physics. A word that sends chills down the spines of many. Whether those chills come from horror or fascination, you might be happy to realize that physics-based games generally turn out having a much broader appeal than the actual subject itself.
Rafter’s entire design is themed to look like you’re playing the game right on top of Leonardo DaVinci’s mechanical schematics. This might sound dull but in fact, the sketches have a basic and antiquated feel to it that makes for really nice sketchbook design. Considering you’ll have your own puzzles to solve on the mechanics of how to get to that taunting little spinning ball of red, the fact that they come from Leonardo DaVinci’s brilliant imagination makes it all the more quaint.
The goal is to destroy the red target by drawing circles or rectangles that will fall from the sketching area onto the active playing area. The playing area is outfitted with different blocks and other contraptions that may or may not help or hinder your way to the target. Solid blocks will send your sketch balls and boxes bouncing or sliding off of them, while movable blocks and fans will deflect and move them around.
There are currently 41 levels in Rafter for you to exercise your brain on and it is also OpenFeint enabled for the more competitive spirits. Scoring is determined by the time it takes for you to complete the level along with how many shapes you draw but be aware that for each shape you draw, 5 seconds get taken off your total score (time). You can always restart the level at no cost to you so if your theorized solution didn’t work, you can always fall back on trial-and-error.
Most levels are fairly easily solved and even though some might take a couple of tries before you succeed. Rafter is a very solid game, its charm lying in how it manages to keep it fresh even with the many other physics-based games out there with now. There is a minor typo in the How-To section (‘objective’ is misspelled) but its nothing that affects gameplay and can be easily fixed in a future update. Its 41 levels are plenty unique, and though Rafter could only benefit from the addition of more levels, it is well worth the $0.99 it costs in the AppStore.
Here is a video demo of the Rafter app on the iPhone
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