Furmins Hands-On Preview
When we first read this title, many of us might have a little “wtf?!” moment. Furmins, which rhymes with vermin, is in all actuality a pretty cute game coming to the iOS devices in the near future. In it, you will play god. Well, not actually god but a super omnipotent being that can control the environment to a certain extent in order to save the little fuzzy sphere shaped creatures, which we come to know as Furmin.
This game is developed by Housemarque, and for those of you who do not know, they had created stellar shooters like Super Stardust HD and zombie favorite, Dead Nation. This might be a new venture for the team and as we see other big companies follow this pattern of short, easy to pick up and play games it just makes sense. They have always prided themselves at being an great independent developer and really enjoy the marketplace that vehicles such as PSN and XBLA offer to their customers. With Furmins, they will be keeping to their roots by having the title released for the iOS devices and having much of the development done in house.
As for the story, there is a massively huge king that rules all of the Furmin who falls asleep and ends up rolling into the waterway to stop the flow of water to the world of Furmin. This stoppage of water is killing all of the vegetation and really putting a damper on life as a whole for the kingdom. You will need to help the Furmin get to their king so that they can wake him up and of course, save the world.
Furmins at its core is a quick paced puzzle game. In it you will manipulate the environment whether it is moving a trampoline to a spot that will cause the Furmin to land in the targeted area or simply tapping on the screen in order to change the direction of conveyor belts that will transport them. Each level starts out with your group of Furmin in one part of the screen and your objective in another area of the screen. What first struck me as interesting is that you cannot directly interact with the Furmin. You will have to basically build the best path for them to take in order to reach the goal and hopefully along the way, collect gold stars. Some of you might remember a game called the Incredible Machine where you had a bunch of parts that you had at your disposal to build a nice little mechanism that would solve whatever puzzle you were trying to complete. Here, you will find yourself trying to complete the pathway using simple physics, time, and trampolines.
When you first pick it up, you will be treated to the standard tutorial which will help you to start thinking about the game in terms of how Furmin fall, how they roll, and how they react to objects in their environment. In a few short moments, you will be sending them sliding across ice blocks that are perpetually melting and bouncing them off of angled walls to make their landing just right. Of course you want to do this as efficiently as possible and pick up every gold star that the level has to offer.
Each of the levels is beautifully hand painted and drawn by the same artist who worked on Outland. As you can see in this concept art above, the images are colorful and inviting to your imagination. As we know, great artwork can help any game endure the test of time.
Speaking of gold stars, They have done something that I have yet to see in a game for the iOS. As you collect gold start through the levels, you will be able to use them as currency to purchase new levels as they become available. If you do not want to do that, they have said that you will be able to purchase more stars through micro transactions.
From what I have played sofar, Furmins is a nice little shot of fun for the iPad. With the great artwork and catchy music done by the same composer as Bejeweled, it has all the trappings of a great game.
Furmins will be available soon on iOS devices. It will be 2.99 for the iPad version and .99 for the iPod and iPhone versions.