The Line HD Review for iPad
There are some games that just work perfectly on the iPad’s large touch screen and play in the strengths of the touch input better than others. The Line HD is such a game. You will be solving unique puzzles and finding ways for a character, called Eddy, to escape danger — all while using two main tools of erase and draw — to connect endpoints and draw lines. The game is very intuitive with a lot of depth and strategy involved.
The Line HD by Ant Hive Games is a very unique line-drawing puzzle game that doesn’t play like traditional iPad (also available for iPhone) line-drawing games. This is a puzzle-strategy game but has line-drawing elements as part of the gameplay. Most games in the genre have you direct the control of traffic or vehicles-planes. In The Line HD, on the other hand, you control the movements of a blob-like creature named Eddy by creating a path in front of him through connecting dots. This intuitive swiping creates lines for Eddy to travels across. The path is created by virtual line-drawing with the swipe of your finger — where you swipe from one endpoint to another — as long as the endpoints are close enough to connect. You can create diagonal or straight lines that can also sometimes be positioned vertically or horizontally. By combining the directions of the path you create, you will also create shapes like right-angle triangles that sometimes are needed to shield Eddy from hazards.
You will also have to erase lines already created or existing on the path to control Eddy’s movement and allow him to evade danger by using another tool. There are two main tools you have to switch between constantly that are located on the lower part of the game-screen and they are the pencil tip and eraser. On top of these tool icons, there are also the freeze and burn commands that control speed of movement. The freeze icon will stop the creature in his tracks for a moment to give you more time to form a plan and create a path. The fire icon will hurry him up so you don’t have to wait as long for him to make his way to the exit.
There will be various challenging obstacles and enemies along the path that will cause Eddy to fail and you will have to start the level over or reappear from the checkpoint. Each of the 65 current levels has a checkpoint and a whirly-circular exit. It isn’t enough to make it to the exit, however, as you will be collecting five blue orbs first for the exit to open up. The orbs are located in various parts of the levels and sometimes hidden between obstacles in clever ways. Although to be able to complete the level you will only need to collect five of these orbs, for an extra challenge each level contains seven for you to grab. Some examples of the obstacles and enemies that will get in Eddy’s way are ufos with spikes coming out of them and red zigzag lines you cannot erase that destroy Eddy if he chooses their path.
The blob-like character who you direct, Eddy, is a funny-looking creature who basically flows on top of the path in a quicksand or water-like fashion. He will appear in the beginning of levels or at checkpoints by coming up from underneath the line pathway and constantly change directions or move upside down when reaching the end of a path. In this way you can control his movements by erasing a line in front and behind the one he is currently on and he will just move on one line clockwise.
The constant switching of directions that you cannot always predict correctly — whether he will move for instance to one line or another after running into a fork or whether he will change sides to go upside down or not — adds complexity and strategy to the title. The game can get quite difficult and for anyone with patience who can put up with replaying levels to get the correct path and lines drawn it is a very fun and rewarding experience. The game will take you quite a while to complete because of the complexity and length of some levels.
One great thing about The Line HD is how the level layouts are positioned for you to match the connecting endpoints and form your line pathway. Some levels have you create the pathway from left to right while going in various directions while other levels have you create a path vertically, where Eddy climbs upward to downward, toward the exit. Some even have you change directions many times in order to collect orbs before Eddy can head for the exit. There are also some non-linear elements here and different ways to complete levels.
One downside for some players may be that you cannot see the whole level at any point during the pathway except near where the creature is heading to and near his vision. There is no zoom or scrolling. So, you will have to think fast as Eddy will continuously discover new areas of the level and challenges to overcome. You will be quickly switching the erase and pencil tools and have to think fast. My biggest gripe though would be the fact you can only play the title in one locked landscape orientation. I also haven’t figured out a way to pause the title or exit from the level to the main menu. If that option doesn’t exist that would be another major downer.
When Eddy comes to an area in the path where there are enemies or difficulties, use the erase tool to clear the lines in front of him and use it again to clear the lines toward the rear of him. Look at the various options to consider and different lines you can make, then decide what is best — instead of just playing on a whim. Another tip is to use the freeze command as often as you can to give Eddy more time as more obstacles appear because he moves pretty quickly.
The game comes highly recommended for anyone who enjoys interactive games with puzzle elements that have a great art style. The Line HD is very quirky, fun, challenging, and will make you think on your feet. To compare the title to other games on the App Store is difficult but I would say that it shares similarities — in terms of the connecting-endpoints style of gameplay and the addictive nature it offers — with World of Goo. The game also shows the potential and strengths of the touch screen for control and interactivity when the game fits the design. You can download it from the App Store for $2.99.
Note: A promotional code was provided by the creator for use in this article.
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