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Cut the Rope: Experiments Review - More candy-filled Windows Phone fun

The original Cut the Rope is one of the most popular Xbox Windows Phone games, and for good reason. The gameplay is simple and easy to learn, while perfecting levels provides a fair challenge. It packs a ton of levels and it only costs a buck – the perfect price point for mass market acceptance. And of course, it stars the lovable Om Nom, an endearing creature who has his own series of animated shorts on YouTube and physical merchandise like toys and games.

Now Cut the Rope is back, but not as the update with more levels promised within the game. Instead, ZeptoLabs has just released a sequel, Cut the Rope: Experiments. This one packs 150 more levels of gameplay in exactly the same style as the first, plus a few minor improvements. Now that its price has dropped to a buck, is Experiments a necessary buy for fans of the original? Read on to find out!

Under new management

Experiments begins and ends with a charming little story, told through brief animated videos. At the outset, we find the family who took care of Om Nom in the first game in the process of moving to a new residence. The car hits a bump and Om Nom’s crate falls out, much like the toys always seem to do in Disney’s Toy Story movies. Talk about neglect!

Soon an elderly professor finds Om Nom and takes him back to the lab for experimentation. Don’t worry, the experiments consist of ways to feed Om Nom candy using gadgets, not the deadlier variety seen in Chickens Can’t Fly. The professor provides brief voice samples at the beginning and end of each level as well as making an on-screen appearance in the very first level, giving Experiments an extra dose of personality.

Tried and true gameplay

As I said, Experiments’ core gameplay is identical to Cut the Rope’s. Let’s run down the basics for those few gamers who haven’t played the original. The goal of each level is simply to feed Om Nom a single piece of candy. On top of that, you’ll also want to use the candy to collect some or all of the level’s three stars – reaching star milestones unlocks new batches of levels.

The main gameplay mechanic involves cutting the rope that holds the candy by swiping it with your finger. Sometimes the candy is attached to multiple ropes, in which case you can cut a single one or slice them simultaneously using two fingers. The trick is to get the candy swinging in the right direction by releasing the ropes’ tension. Also, if any of the ropes are pulled tightly enough to appear red, cutting that rope will launch the candy in the opposite direction at high speed.

Advanced tools

Experiments launches with six sets (or boxes) of 25 levels, for a total of 150 levels. Each set introduces at least one new tool or mechanic. These differentiate Experiments from the original more than anything else because they give every batch of levels a different flavor than what came before.

  • Drum: These start showing up in the first box. Candy bounces off of drums like a trampoline.
  • Rope shooter: Beginning with the second box you’ll come across these manually activated gadgets. Tap a rope shooter and a line attaches to the candy, regardless of the candy’s position. Each shooter only gets a single shot.
  • Suction cups: First encountered in the third box, one or more suction cups will be attached to the candy at the start of the level. Tap a cup to make it unstick from the wall; a second tap reattaches it. Suction cups can be tricky to use!
  • Rockets: The fourth box introduces rockets. When candy falls on a rocket, it sticks to it and then the rocket flies forward. Some rockets are attached to wheels; tap the wheel to turn and aim the rocket. Flying rockets attached to rope simply spin around in a circle until you cut the rope and let the rocket go.
  • Water: The fifth box levels are filled with water, either of the stationary or draining variety. Candy  floats the top of water. If the water drains in a level, you generally have to finish it quickly.
  • Snails: These creatures sometimes show up in water levels. When candy touches a snail, the snail sticks and makes the candy sink. Tap the snail to release the candy and make it float.
  • Robot arms: The sixth box has these cool arms that you rotate by pressing the button at the base of the arm. Some arms have rotatable joints that work the same way. If candy falls into an arm’s hand, the hand catches it. You can then rotate the arm to the desired position and tap the hand to let that tasty treat go.

For better or worse

Let's hope they really do come soon!

Like the first game, the Windows Phone version of Experiments is incomplete compared to other platforms. iOS and Android have a seventh level box called Ant Hill. Our version promises that more levels are coming soon, but since ZeptoLabs has yet to update the first game after six months, I wouldn’t count on Experiments actually getting updated.

Another complaint: the loading times between levels and the menu are longer than they should be, even when running from a Windows Phone 8 device. It’s too bad the game wasn’t developed natively for Windows Phone 8 since the entire game could fit within WP8’s larger allotment of RAM.

On the happy side, the first game’s single background tune has been replaced with two new tunes in Experiments: one for the first four boxes and another for the last two boxes. Coupled with the Professor’s voice samples, Experiments delights the ears much more than its predecessor.


Just like Cut the Rope, Experiments provides a quick and easy 200 GamerScore. Players can get all of the Achievements in as little as 2-3 hours. You only need to collect 300 out of 450 stars in order to unlock all the level-based Achievements; gotta love when games don’t make us perfect every level. The rest of the Achievements involve activating the various props X number of times, cutting 600 ropes, etc.

One Achievement requires players to find the pictures hidden within the backgrounds of certain levels. Just tap the irregular wallpaper patches within those levels to get the pictures. Because we love you guys, we've revealed the picture locations in this review's screenshots. Or check out Arsenic17’s Achievement Guide for text descriptions and more Achievement help (love not guaranteed).

Overall Impression

Cut the Rope: Experiments doesn’t change the series gameplay up as much as Cut the Rope: Time Travel (which we hope comes to Windows Phone soon), yet the new tools, story, and other minor improvements still make for a better game than the first. This sequel may not pack as many levels as plain old Cut the Rope, but I don’t have the patience to complete 300 levels anyway. Seeing as how Cut the Rope: Experiments sells for just a dollar, fans of the original and Achievement hunters should grab it up without delay. Om Nom isn’t going to feed himself!

Cut the Rope: Experiments costs 99 cents and is a 29 MB download. It runs great on Windows Phone 7 and 8. Grab it here from the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Cut the Rope Experiments

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Paul can we have review of gravity guy 2?
  • I wanted to review that this week, but I hadn't played it enough by deadline. It's coming soon though!
  • Ok.. Waiting for it..
  • Can't you just play it yourself?
  • I could be wrong, but I think he just wants to know what I think of it. I go all in depth and whatnot in my long-ass reviews.
  • Paul you are rite.
  • Whats your problem dude??
  • Paul do you know if any xbox WP game is coming today?
  • Yes, there will be a WP8 game released today. Can't say what yet.
  • So its WP8 only hmmm.....
  • If you want to get all achievements Paul, you need to unlock 300 stars (This qill give you access to the robotic hand levels).
  • Thanks; fixed.
  • If you liked the first one, no question, pick this one up, now that the price has been adjusted to where it should be.
  • Enjoying it so far but then i like this sort of casual game.
    anyone else find however that even though you turn music and sound effects off in the game settings that you still get the professors voice? Slight bug maybe.
  • The voice is a separate option next to sound effects and music.
  • I know, all off, still happens. I'll uninstall/reinstall see if it changes, not played that much that I'm worried about progress.
  • Already completed both game on WP. Just really hope that the devs update both game...
  • How long will we need to wait until us WP users get the new Time Travel????
  • They haven't started porting it, so it would be the end of the year at the earliest.
  • Boo!
    How long until you can announce todays game? (I'm in the UK)
  • Probably about two hours from now.
  • I don't think Time Travel will get so much time,because cut the rope is created with marmaled and marmalade is already for windows phone
  • That's if ZeptoLab decides to switch to WP8 development instead of WP7 development, because Marmalade only works for WP8. I hope they do go WP8 in future titles, especially if it speeds up development.
  • No wp8 game yet paul? No release today?
  • They're just running late. It will show up.
  • Is this a joke? 1 year for their new game? By that time they'd probably release 1 new season for Cut the Rope, 2-3 Boxes for Experiments & Time Travel and a brand new Cut the Rope. And what will we get? Just one game and 0 updates for others.
  • That's just me pulling a timeline out of thin air. It depends on when they start working on it, which they haven't decided to do yet, as well as whether they switch to WP8-only or retain WP7 compatibility.
  • I feel ripped off with this game.i played over £2 for it to drop to 79p a few days later... Lesson learned ! having said that i really do like this game but it's way easier than the original. I have complete every level collected every picture and have have every star in under a week. The original is way harder.
  • Some users have successfully received refunds by contacting Xbox support. I was thinking about trying it myself. Agreed that the original is harder.
  • This is a great game... if you loved the first one, you'll love this one too :)
  • I always like to think I'm a physics puzzler person but I'm really just a cut the rope player. Love this series.
  • I call it candy-filled windows phone fun when Candy Crush arrive
  • I'm enjoying the game so far.  Feels a little bit tougher than the first one, but it's still a pretty good game.
  • Paul, anyone still going to do the review of Bouncy Mouse with two updates that came out recently? About Time Travel: are you sure that Zeptolab has not yet begun to port this game for Windows Phone?? I was believing that this time they began to develop for Windows Phone at the same time to the other platforms... :(
  • That's what I was told by their PR person, that they haven't decided whether to release the new game (or even update the existing ones) on WP. About Bouncy Mouse, if I ever get caught up I guess I could review it. I guess George has been too busy or something.
  • Wow, neither the Boxes upates!! This is worse than I tought! :( Bouncy game is certanly one of the most games that deserved to recieve the Xbox Live status...  
  • Xbox live status will just slow down updates and improvements, be happy with as it is.
  • nice review paul. this is a quick and easy one to do. such a short game. disappinted i paid 2.99....oh well. Thanks for the guide link :)
  • This reminded me that I still need to play the first game!