What do you get when you combine a cute creature with an insatiable hunger for sweets, some rope, and the ability to play with physics? No, this isn’t another Cut The Rope sequel. This is Save Yammi, the latest puzzle game offering from BulkyPix. I was worried this would simply turn out to be a Cut The Rope clone, and I still see shades of Om Nom ever time Yammi chomps on a cookie, but this is certainly a fun puzzle game in it’s own right. Best of all, the game play is actually different than Cut The Rope.
Okay, so enough about that other game… let’s discuss Save Yammi. You are trying to help a little octopus named Yammi find his way home to the Gulf of Mexico while avoiding a nasty shark. Of course, you won’t know this without checking out the iTunes description, since there isn’t any sort of intro in the game itself. Too bad, because given the graphics quality I bet an intro would be really cool. Anyway, to get poor Yammi through each level, for some reason you have to feed him a cookie. As luck would have it, though, this is one stubborn octopus, and he won’t eat the cookie until you’ve collected the 3 yellow stars floating around the level. There are also red stars, but those are just for bonus.
So how do you help Yammi? You start the ball (or cookie, as it were) rolling by tapping the cookie. At any point, as long as you have rope left you can draw a piece of rope on the screen to help guide the cookie. This helps in both giving it a path to roll along and in blocking it from going places you don’t want it to. Keep in mind that rope segments will fade away after a certain length of time. As the levels get trickier you get items like teleports and bubbles that help keep the cookie moving. The game currently has 100 levels spread across 10 cities, and so far every city has introduced at least one new concept.
Your final score for each level is based on three factors: the three yellow stars (which you must get), the two red stars and how much rope you have left. You only need the yellow stars to progress to the next level, but you can always go back and replay levels where you didn’t get all the red stars. Save Yammi is also Game Center enabled, with a total of 16 achievements to earn and leaderboards to compete in. Most achievements are built on doing a certain activity many times, so it should take you a while to collect them all.
The graphics are certainly one of the highlights of Save Yammi. Not the backgrounds so much, mind you, as they are relatively plain compared to everything else. However, all the objects look good, whether it’s a simple star or the grumbling thunder cloud. Of course Yammi himself is awesome, with his big eyes and wonderful expressions. If you leave the cookie rolling around him too long without having all the stars, he’ll even hold up a little sign to let you know that you need three stars.
The sound effects are actually pretty decent. However, the one thing that troubles me just a bit is how much Yammi sounds like a certain other adorable critter. In fact, if you closed your eyes you’d be hard pressed not to think you were hearing Om Nom when Yammi crunches a cookie. Sorry, that’s the last time I’ll bring that up. The music is pleasant enough, but it seems there are only two tunes – one for the menu and one for actual game play. Even if each city didn’t have its own theme, a couple more scores would be nice.
I lied – I’m going to mention it once more. For those of you that feel like you’ve gotten your fill with Cut The Rope or think that this is going to be too similar in game play, please give it a chance. The rest of you that don’t have those fears should have already bought it. This game is extremely fun, and really not quite like the other games of its ilk. I just hope it manages to break the top 10 for a while, because it deserves all the accolades its brethren have received.