Let me just come out and first say: I really like this game.

Independent developer Bas Tossings has released a charming new iPhone game called Loopy Laboratory [$6.99, App Store]. While it's not entirely perfect, after playing too many half-finished games and glorified tech demos, it was refreshing to finally see a game with some depth and character. One iTunes reviewer has described this as a remake of Chip's Challenge/Tile World which it does seem to resemble though the developer says he was inspired by a number of older puzzle games which came together for this project.

The game is set in the laboratory of the evil Dr. Heissenbad. You play the character of Lara. Your job is to escape the laboratory by collecting batteries to turn off electrical fences -- at least that's what the developer description said. But there's actually a lot of variety in the level obstacles and battery collection is only one small component. There are 50 levels of play in all with a gradually increasing difficulty.

The game gives you some very basic instructions to start and expects you to figure out the rest, which I found out worked quite well. You control the character of Lara with directional swipe controls which are effective. Single swipe moves a single space. Swipe and hold provides continuous movement. The game provides an isometric view of the room in which you move around. Two-finger tapping the screen switches you to a panning mode in which you can scroll to see the rest of the level.

In the first level, you just collect the few batteries in the room and proceed to the exit. Over the course of the next 10 or so levels, you get introduced to the other possible obstacles, which include spiders, worms, water pits, movable boxes, ice, conveyor belts, lasers (!) and more.

The game difficulty ramps up quite slowly, however, so I didn't really feel challenged until around the 25th level, though things did progress from there. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of new obstacles that were introduced along the way. Later levels are definitely more challenging and take more time to solve, but you have to get through a lot of easy levels first.

The issue with any level-based puzzle game is that once you complete all the levels, there isn't much incentive to play again. I don't mean to diminish what has already been accomplished in this game, but certainly allowing user created levels or regular expansion packs would give this title an incredible lifespan and (I suspect) a massive following. The developer hasn't ruled out either possibility, but this obviously depends on the reception of his creation.

As the title stands, however, I do think this is a surprisingly good game and recommend it. Long time gamers in particular will find its structure and gameplay to be a familiar and enjoyable experience.

The gameplay video shows a few of the early levels (3, 6, 7) and a later level (31). Note that the conveyor belt does not video tape well (grey moving walkway).

Game Details
Name: Loopy Laboratory (1.0) Price: $6.99 [Buy]
Developer: Bas Tossings Size: 8.2 MB
Loopy Laboratory is a charming puzzle game in which you must navigate numerous obstacles to find your way to each level's exit. It offers a refreshingly enjoyable game on the iPhone, but the levels do seem to stay too easy for too long.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Aaron

    Aw nuts!
    I have a similar game in the wings! Glad to know you like this one. If you finish this and need more stages, I'm trying to get this one out the door. There's enough different, but when I started the game and there were no others to play yet, I thought I was pretty clever for having just about the exact same control scheme as this one. lol.

    Mine has truly 3D environments but is also isometric. Even though I hope for the best of fortune to this game I sure would have rather had mine come out first. lol. There is some overlap. Nuts!

    Anyway, when you are done with this one and you want some more, hopefully I'll have something for you. I've recently decided to release a simple version first at a lower price to get it out the door, but there'll be some of the trickier stuff in there as a tease, and then a longer game with many more features.

    Certainly don't wait for mine, though. It's not like it's coming out next week or anything. This one looks fun. Please, buy it (like I'll have to!) and then get thirsty for more. :o)

  • Aaron

    Aw nuts!
    I have a similar game in the wings! Glad to know you like this one. If you finish this and need more stages, I'm trying to get this one out the door. There's enough different, but when I started the game and there were no others to play yet, I thought I was pretty clever for having just about the exact same control scheme as this one. lol.

    Mine has truly 3D environments but is also isometric. Even though I hope for the best of fortune to this game I sure would have rather had mine come out first. lol. There is some overlap. Nuts!

    Anyway, when you are done with this one and you want some more, hopefully I'll have something for you. I've recently decided to release a simple version first at a lower price to get it out the door, but there'll be some of the trickier stuff in there as a tease, and then a longer game with many more features.

    Certainly don't wait for mine, though. It's not like it's coming out next week or anything. This one looks fun. Please, buy it (like I'll have to!) and then get thirsty for more. :o)

  • Aaron

    Oh, and mine is about a living snowball.

  • arn

    @aaron. I think there's room for more than one. :)

  • Aaron

    Oh, and mine is about a living snowball.

  • arn

    @aaron. I think there's room for more than one. :)

  • Dolly

    This game looks awesome! Exactly what I was waiting for. Nice music, graphics and gameplay!

    The character seems very cool. Funny animation when she walks on the ice... I think she's totally likable!

  • Dolly

    This game looks awesome! Exactly what I was waiting for. Nice music, graphics and gameplay!

    The character seems very cool. Funny animation when she walks on the ice... I think she's totally likable!

  • Ed

    did anyone play "chip's challenge" for .. uhm... Win 3.11????

    that was my FAVORITE win 3.11 game, kept playing that until '98 if i remember...

    still, this is way too expensive (although it has a nice presentation, must i say) for a chip's clone. i rather find out some good old backup win/dos games in my dusty attic and play chip's until they drop the price...

  • Ed

    did anyone play "chip's challenge" for .. uhm... Win 3.11????

    that was my FAVORITE win 3.11 game, kept playing that until '98 if i remember...

    still, this is way too expensive (although it has a nice presentation, must i say) for a chip's clone. i rather find out some good old backup win/dos games in my dusty attic and play chip's until they drop the price...

  • ArtOfWarfare

    The game seems to be unbearably slow. Is there a faster game speed or something? (Maybe it isn't all that slow and it's simply boring to watch.)

    Oh... and a question regarding the website... who writes the reviews? It seems like sometimes it's arn but other times it's someone else (blakespot?)... do you ever actually sign the review so readers can know who wrote it? Oh wait, never mind. You put your name at the top rather than the bottom.

  • ArtOfWarfare

    The game seems to be unbearably slow. Is there a faster game speed or something? (Maybe it isn't all that slow and it's simply boring to watch.)

    Oh... and a question regarding the website... who writes the reviews? It seems like sometimes it's arn but other times it's someone else (blakespot?)... do you ever actually sign the review so readers can know who wrote it? Oh wait, never mind. You put your name at the top rather than the bottom.

  • Crunc

    I played Chip's Challenge on the atari lynx - I loved that game! I might have to pick this up.

  • Crunc

    I played Chip's Challenge on the atari lynx - I loved that game! I might have to pick this up.

  • Brett

    This game looks really good. I'm tempted to buy it.
    I'll probably wait a week or two though to see if the price comes down, as seems to be the case with all new apps.

  • Brett

    This game looks really good. I'm tempted to buy it.
    I'll probably wait a week or two though to see if the price comes down, as seems to be the case with all new apps.

  • Brett

    Oh, yes... AND if there's some hint that the developer will add more levels in later updates, because like the original review says, once you've completed all the levels, there's little incentive to re-play...

  • Brett

    Oh, yes... AND if there's some hint that the developer will add more levels in later updates, because like the original review says, once you've completed all the levels, there's little incentive to re-play...

  • Brett

    Quick question: What are the 4 "spaces" at the top of the screen (to the left of the "Menu" button) for?

  • Brett

    Quick question: What are the 4 "spaces" at the top of the screen (to the left of the "Menu" button) for?

  • mek

    @brett

    im thinking keys to unlock doors

  • mek

    @brett

    im thinking keys to unlock doors

  • arn

    @brett - they show things you are holding. like the ice boots or the fire extinguisher.

  • arn

    @brett - they show things you are holding. like the ice boots or the fire extinguisher.

  • Brett

    @ mek / arn

    Aah, of course. Thanks for the answer...

  • Brett

    @ mek / arn

    Aah, of course. Thanks for the answer...

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  • Screwpull

    The game look like Chips Challenge released on the Atari Lynx handheld. But the game did not have isometric 3D view. I was not the first one to observe :)

  • Screwpull

    The game look like Chips Challenge released on the Atari Lynx handheld. But the game did not have isometric 3D view. I was not the first one to observe :)

  • SteveJ

    I bought it and so far like it. Yes, it definitely is easy for too long, but once you get to level 26 (maybe 24) it gets a lot more enjoyable. I think it is worth the price. I played the Atari Lynx version when that was new and loved it (except for the passwords, instead of saves) and this is obviously a lot like that, although I think the levels are all completely different (don't quote me on it - it's been a long time.)

  • SteveJ

    I bought it and so far like it. Yes, it definitely is easy for too long, but once you get to level 26 (maybe 24) it gets a lot more enjoyable. I think it is worth the price. I played the Atari Lynx version when that was new and loved it (except for the passwords, instead of saves) and this is obviously a lot like that, although I think the levels are all completely different (don't quote me on it - it's been a long time.)

  • arn

    well if someone does play it through, tell me if you can get past level 46. I don't necessarily want to see the solution. I just want to know if it's possible. :)

  • arn

    well if someone does play it through, tell me if you can get past level 46. I don't necessarily want to see the solution. I just want to know if it's possible. :)

  • arn

    re: level 46. well, the dev says it's solvable. :)

  • arn

    re: level 46. well, the dev says it's solvable. :)

  • Phillee

    I just solved lvl 46 so yeah its solvable

  • Phillee

    I just solved lvl 46 so yeah its solvable

  • Rocco

    Level 34 is impossible. There needs to be one more block in order to get to the next level.

  • Rocco

    Level 34 is impossible. There needs to be one more block in order to get to the next level.

  • arn

    @rocco - I passed level 34. so it is possible. :)

  • arn

    @rocco - I passed level 34. so it is possible. :)

  • Rocco

    How do you pass that level?

  • Rocco

    How do you pass that level?

  • boardopboy

    @Rocco: I wish I could remember level 34? I am drawing a blank right now. Refresh My memory?

    I can tell you all levels can be solved.

    @arn: When you realized what had to be done on 46, did you smack your forehead and curse yourself for being so stupid, as I did?

    That was a good game! I'm sure I'll come back to it after a few weeks when the solutions aren't so fresh in my head!

  • boardopboy

    @Rocco: I wish I could remember level 34? I am drawing a blank right now. Refresh My memory?

    I can tell you all levels can be solved.

    @arn: When you realized what had to be done on 46, did you smack your forehead and curse yourself for being so stupid, as I did?

    That was a good game! I'm sure I'll come back to it after a few weeks when the solutions aren't so fresh in my head!

  • arn

    @rocco: post a screenshot of the level here:
    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?p=5379#post5379

    @boardopboy I haven't had a chance to go back to play it so I haven't solved it yet. :) If I don't get it soon, I may as on that thread myself.

  • arn

    @rocco: post a screenshot of the level here:
    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?p=5379#post5379

    @boardopboy I haven't had a chance to go back to play it so I haven't solved it yet. :) If I don't get it soon, I may as on that thread myself.

  • arn

    @boardopboy - ok, just figured it out, and yes - surprised it took me so long :) I've solved the game now. The last few levels were the most challenging, and enjoyed them. Hopefully we'll see more in the future.

  • arn

    @boardopboy - ok, just figured it out, and yes - surprised it took me so long :) I've solved the game now. The last few levels were the most challenging, and enjoyed them. Hopefully we'll see more in the future.

  • Rocco

    @ Arn and Boardboy:

    Thanks for replying. I've actually figured it out. Level 34 is the one where you have all those boxes and have to line them up in two bodies of water; the first body of water has one square panel on it that is lit on fire. There are four batteries and an extinguisher available.

    It's all about timing. You have to send a box in the upper right corner to the left, and while doing so, time your slide down the ride side and stop the box with Lara's sliding body. Stopping it will enable you to get the batteries and extinguisher without the use of boxes in the water. In actuality, you don't even need all of the boxes supplied, but I think the developed supplied that amount so that when you came up one short (as I did), you would have to develop a different means on acquiring the batteries and extinguisher.

  • Rocco

    @ Arn and Boardboy:

    Thanks for replying. I've actually figured it out. Level 34 is the one where you have all those boxes and have to line them up in two bodies of water; the first body of water has one square panel on it that is lit on fire. There are four batteries and an extinguisher available.

    It's all about timing. You have to send a box in the upper right corner to the left, and while doing so, time your slide down the ride side and stop the box with Lara's sliding body. Stopping it will enable you to get the batteries and extinguisher without the use of boxes in the water. In actuality, you don't even need all of the boxes supplied, but I think the developed supplied that amount so that when you came up one short (as I did), you would have to develop a different means on acquiring the batteries and extinguisher.

  • maikelg

    And of course Loopy Laboratory is on sale now for $2.99...

  • maikelg

    And of course Loopy Laboratory is on sale now for $2.99...

  • Wayne

    Can anyone provide a hint for level 46? Do you shoot the boxes from the outside in?

  • Wayne

    Can anyone provide a hint for level 46? Do you shoot the boxes from the outside in?

  • Wayne

    uh....duh..... 10 minutes after posting I finally figured it out. Onto level 47!

  • Wayne

    uh....duh..... 10 minutes after posting I finally figured it out. Onto level 47!

  • Ben

    Argh. Please can one of you clever people give me a level 46 hint. It's making me crazy!

  • Ben

    Argh. Please can one of you clever people give me a level 46 hint. It's making me crazy!

  • Travis

    Yeah...as much as I would love to figure it out on my own, I am truly stumped on level 46. Every other level has been (for the most part), a logistical breeze. I just can't make any sense out of this one. PLEASE, could someone give me a solution, or at least a hint in the right direction...?

  • Travis

    Yeah...as much as I would love to figure it out on my own, I am truly stumped on level 46. Every other level has been (for the most part), a logistical breeze. I just can't make any sense out of this one. PLEASE, could someone give me a solution, or at least a hint in the right direction...?

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  • Joansahley

    I cannot get past level 33.  It is the level with the 4 prisma and the one box with the laser turret.  Thanks anyone that can help.