As we reported yesterday, Newtonica [App Store] from Fieldsystem Inc. appeared in the iTunes App Store last night. We've since had a chance to spend some time with this spherical action game and wanted to share our thoughts.
Newtonica presents the player with a "Starpanel" containing a sphere that is comprised of "cores" of alternating colors. The sphere can be rotated along any axis with a finger swipe. (The player actually manipulates an outer control sphere, visible only during swipes, which influences the orientation of the inner game sphere--an arrangement that results in a bit of drift on the inner sphere which ads challenge to the game.) The standard iPhone multitouch "pinch" allows zooming in and out of the playfield. Meteors of various colors (that correspond with the sphere's colors) fall toward the sphere from the outer edges of the playfield. The goal of the game is to manipulat the sphere such that each meteor impacts a core of the corresponding color. It sounds simple, and it is. At first. But as the YouTube video demonstrates, as the game progresses the meteors begin falling at a frantic pace and only the truly nimble-fingered can keep the colors sorted for long. Too many umatched impacts will cause the sphere to explode and end the game.
Newtonica takes a simple premise and combines it with clean graphics and excellent control that is well suited to the iPhone. I found the gameplay to be fun and rather engrossing--once the meteors really start to fly the adrenaline definitely kicks in. It took several games to find the zoom level that gave just the right view of the action. This is a title that takes time and practice to master.
Newtonica bears a similarity to Radius [App Store], another game involving the rotation of a sphere. While they will both have you frantically swiping to and fro, the gameplay is rather different between the two and I find that Newtonica's superior control system makes it the more enjoyable sphere spinner.
Newtonica is avialable in the App Store for $4.99.