It's the simplest games, the ones any player of any age can pick up and play, that become App Store sensations. Temple Run, for example. You tap and swipe the screen to keep your dude from falling down pits and running into walls as he runs forward. And Angry Birds? Even adventurers in galaxies far, far away know about Angry Birds.

Cut the Rope is another one of those "so easy your mom can play it" games that wrapped charming graphics, easy-to-grasp controls, and physics-based puzzles challenging enough to make you wrack your brain yet quick enough that you can solve one or two in a single setting in a 99-cent package. It also spawned a couple of sequels, the newest of which is Cut the Rope: Time Travel [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)].

Like the previous rope-cutting extravaganzas, Time Travel is all about feeding candies to the Om-Nom, an adorable alien critter with an insatiable appetite for sweets. Said candies dangle from the ends of ropes, and you swipe your finger over those ropes to cut them and send the candies swinging into the mouth of the Om-Nom waiting patiently nearby.

This time around you've got two alien mouths to feed: the Om-Nom, and its various ancestors from eras such as Ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, and a pirate ship. Because every great game has a pirate ship.

Levels are arranged according to themed time periods. To complete a level, you must feed both Om-Noms a piece of candy. Early on, passing a stage is as simple as cutting ropes and watching them swing like pendulums into the gullets of the little buggers.

Things get tricky soon enough. Each time period introduces unique mechanics such as spinning blades, time stoppers, spikes, pullies that let you pull back ropes and release candies like stones from a slingshot, and chains your finger can't cut through. The level ends if you drop or destroy a candy, but you can retry as often as you like.

And retry you will, especially in later levels where split-second timing means the difference between aliens with full tummies and aliens that look at you like you just told them there is no alien Santa Claus. You'll need trial and error and sharp reflexes to finish blink-and-you'll-blow-it stages such as one that opens with your two candies plummeting from the sky. But there's no pressure.

Between unlimited restarts and a smooth learning curve, solving puzzles is always more fun than frustrating. You'll obsess over collecting the three bonus stars in each level, as I did, simply because uncovering the solution to dozens of cleverly arranged puzzles is so darn fun.

You might be tempted to skip Cut the Rope: Time Travel. It's just another sequel, right? Nope. Time Travel offers a unique twist on an already solid formula. It's an excellent time waster, one that every member of your family should enjoy.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Scorpion008

    I found it easy; I beat the whole thing quickly. However it it still absolutely worth the price. Btw, there are only 15 levels per box when there used to be 25.

  • Alex

    Really, 4 1/2 stars? This game was waaaaaay easy.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the game, but I also felt let down after several of their games feeling exactly the same.

    The hardest part about doing reviews, especially when several different people do them, is that everyone's personal opinions muddle the ratings.

    I don't know how anyone could write a review without being personal, but I wish they could find a way.

    I have seen several games on this site getting low ratings for being easy. I mean, I finished all the puzzles in under an hour with 3 stars. There is no replay value (until updates come out weeks apart, if not months apart at times), no secrets, nothing. I don't get this rating.

    Then I have seen games that are so good, it's crazy, get low ratings over something stupid.

    It's a good review, it's just the rating system is so out of whack, it seems like it's based on nothing more than a "I liked this for no reason other than I did" feeling. I remember a gaming magazine having used an actual system to rate their games. I wonder if a similar approach could be adopted. Then the ratings would be much less biased and more specific.

    • dancj

      Ratings can never and should never be unbiased. All they can ever do is give you an understanding of one person's experience of the game. If you want a better idea than that then read the review and find out why they gave it that rating.

      • Alex

        I don't necessarily believe this to be true. You can have a rating system based on specific factors that are unbiased and universal. That type of system would allow all games to be rated fairly and accurately. Some factors might be fluidity of controls, lag based on device (apps that are said to run on multiple devices should run smoothly on all supported devices, otherwise they shouldn't be supported or else their rating drops for that one factor), cost based on several factors including playtime, re-playability, features, so on, and so on. Don't leave the rating to personal opinion. Also, make this rating system public so all consumers understand it easily.

        Now the review itself can have personal opinion and should understandably so as it's nearly impossible to not be personal. I just believe the rating system at the end shouldn't be. Different reviewers would have different ratings for the same game. How does that help a consumer choose the product that suits their needs when they aren't sure if the reviewers needs match their own.

        I have often spent money on a game, that simply put, wasn't worth it. The reviewer themselves posted a glowing review which convinced me I would like it and as it turned out, after playing the game, I didn't feel the same way about what they said about certain aspects of the game. I wasted my money and my time. I was then jaded and questioned making purchases by that reviewer. With so many reviewers on so many sites, you think twice about taking their word for anything. It makes you skeptical at times.

        I may be looking into this too much, but I would "personally" love a rating system that is unbiased.

      • DranDran

        The truth is, reviews and final ratings are always subjective. Sure, technical aspects and game features can tilt a rating one way or another but at the end of the day, a game with shit music graphics and sound can be a 5 star game if its the kind of game a specific reviewer loves.

        I am of the opinion that TA rates games waaaay to high. 90% of their reviews seem to lie between 4-5 stars, and I've bought many an app rated 5 stars and been bored within an hour of playing it.

        Sadly, there is no infallible system. Reviews are, in and of itself, the subjective opinion of a person. The best you can do is find out the reviewer that best aligns with your own tastes. Or listen to the community opinion, this has worked well for me in the past. Sad to say, I rarely agree with reviews on here, but I love the community. One reviewer I tend to align well with is Andrew from Appspy (he doesn't even provide ratings, he either recommends a purchase or not), but well, to each their own.

      • Alex

        Funny, because I feel the same exact way about the community here and the reviews here and ALSO align well with Andrew's reviews from Appspy! That is so funny.

      • DranDran

        Hehehe, like-minded high-five! πŸ˜‰ Andrew is great, if a game is bad, even just a little, he really tears into it. Though hes been missing for the past week, I need me some more appspy reviews! πŸ˜›

      • DranDran

        Aw damn, just read on the website that Andrew got hired someplace else and will no longer be doing the video reviews. I'll miss that humorous australian bastard πŸ™

    • David Knight

      "Everyone's personal opinions muddle the ratings", it's interesting, I always felt like reviews are by nature opinions. Some might say reviews are looking to answer a sort of objective "truth" about quality, but I'm not sure there is an objective truth. All you can do is find a reviewer who aligns with your expectations, so you know they're an accurate barometer (for yourself).

      One proviso, there might be an objective truth about quality but not style. I'll trust most film reviewers to tell me if a film is well put together but I also know which ones dismiss sci-fi or which ones are bored by independent films etc.

  • Ben Bristol Habegger

    I, for one, also loved this game. A quick beat, yes. But I liked it a lot more than Experiments. The second Om Nom added some good variety to the game.

  • Flare_TM

    I hope the DLC is harder

  • Chaos Shrine

    Its been a long time since I played a cut the rope game

Cut the Rope: Time Travel Reviewed by David Craddock on . Rating: 4.5