This Green Jelly is actually the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 game from Russian developer MaxNick. Xbox gamers should remember MaxNick’s highly enjoyable Spider Jack and the boring-but-easy Turn N Run. Their latest game unfortunately doesn’t have Xbox features (more on that after the break), but it is still a cute and approachable physics puzzler in the vein of Spider Jack.
The need to feed
Like Spider Jack before it, Green Jelly starts out with a very brief but humorous cinematic that lays out the game’s premise. The creature (whose name is the same as the title) is sort of a living chunk of gelatin. One day he heads to the refrigerator only to discover that it’s woefully empty. This of course inspires him to seek food elsewhere…
Instead of flies, Green Jelly eats sweets. The goal of each level is to reach the gingerbread house exit while eating as many candies as possible. These candies are optional pick-ups, but you do need them to unlock new level sets so you can’ skip too many. Green Jelly has three sets of 20 levels at launch, for a total of 60 levels. MaxNick promises more in a future update.
Stretch and shoot
The actual gameplay works a bit like Cut the Rope and similar games, with a few twists to keep it from being too similar. Our hero needs to latch on to objects in order to get around. Touch and drag him and he’ll extend a limb over to nearby objects. Make a swiping motion over his limbs to cut them, causing him to drop down or slingshot around.
The unique mechanic here is that Green Jelly can slingshot with a great degree of precision. Whenever he is latched on to at least one object, pull at him and you’ll see a line appear to show which way he’ll fly. Then release and Jelly shoots off in whatever arc you selected, hopefully grabbing candy along the way. As long as he passes by another fixed object, he’ll safely latch on to it.
Miss or otherwise allow poor little Green Jelly to fall off the screen and he dies. Various obstacles can kill him too, such as purple buzzsaws and electrical currents. Luckily there is no penalty for dying. The level restarts instantly, allowing the player to try a new (and hopefully less dangerous) strategy.
As we mentioned earlier, two of MaxNick’s previous games have been Xbox-enabled. Both of those titles came from Chillingo, Electronic Arts’ indie publishing arm. Green Jelly is not published by Chillingo though. On iOS and Android, G5 Entertainment is the publisher, whereas MaxNick chose to self-publish on Windows platforms.
Sadly, Microsoft still does not allow indie developers to self-publish Xbox games on Windows Phone. Because MaxNick didn’t sign up with a big publisher (thus giving them a cut of the profits), Green Jelly has to go without Xbox features. Mobile Xbox gamers should be used to situations like this by now, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
Hungry for more
Green Jelly can’t compete with Cut the Rope as far as looks, but the protagonist does look cute and animate pretty well. The backgrounds are themed after various foods like waffles and chocolate bars. They tend to be on the brown side; hopefully future levels add a bit more color.
If you enjoy games of this type, you’ll probably dig what Green Jelly has to offer. The puzzles start out good and easy, gradually ramping up in difficulty over time. The mechanics of latching onto objects and slingshotting off of them give players a lot of approaches towards solving the various puzzles too. Hopefully MaxNick pumps out new levels and gives this game some staying power.
The phone version is priced just right for what you get, but the Windows 8 version seems a bit pricey. At least they both offer a trial, so players can get a taste of the jelly before buying it.
- Green Jelly – Windows Phone 8 – 28 MB – $.99 – Store Link
- Green Jelly – Windows 8 and RT – 51 MB – $4.99 – Store Link