There are a lot of casual physics-puzzlers on the App Store, and the thing that I think a lot of developers fail to realize is that if you’re making one, you need to stand out in some way. Having a stylish and compelling visual style along with fun gameplay is key. Think about it: would Angry Birds (Free) be the phenomeneon it was if it weren’t for the compelling characters? Sometimes it’s luck to find something that clicks, sometimes it’s having a talented artist behind a game that can take something that might otherwise be ignored and make it stand out.
I say all this because when I saw Trick Shot on our forums, it clicked with me. It has a simple style that looks like someone actually was building trick shot contraptions for themselves, but rendered in a game environment. There’s a lot of little touches that go a long way – the animations, the shadows, the way the flag pops up when the shot is completed – that make me really want to play this.
That this game looks as good as it does is thanks to the developer behind the game, in Jonathan Topf. By day, he’s an artist for ustwo, creators of Monument Valley ($3.99), which is itself a gorgeous game. I’m curious to try this one out and see it in motion for myself. If you’re interested in doing so for yourself, you can sign up to help beta test the game and provide feedback ahead of its release in the game’s forum thread.