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Sugar Kid Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on October 4, 2012


Sugar Kid
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Unassuming '3-star-cute-physics-puzzler' with a disturbing twist.
  • Surprising amount of complexity to the gameplay; managing stars, Sugar Kid and other objectives becomes a difficult balancing act.
  • Multiple level 'types' paired with various 'modifiers' curbs the feeling of repetition.

CONS

  • Damage already acts as enough of a penalty... having Sugar Kid constantly change pace makes it nightmarish.
  • Most early content easily 'spammable'; reduces the complexity if you don't have to even bother with watching Sugar Kid.

VERDICT

Disturbing, colorful, fun, cute, and did I say disturbing? Sugar Kid may look like your regular casual physics puzzler, but it's anything but as you try to keep the poor cube alive.


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Cute protagonist? Check. Three-star system to unlock content? Check. Physics-based gameplay system? Triple check. It’s almost a recipe for mundanity by now, but A Crowd of Monsters and Bulkypix have taken the best aspects of these games, paired it with perhaps the most disturbing penalty system I’ve seen in a while and packaged it with quickly unlocking content that scales to your skill level with uncanny precision.

This is Sugar Kid, and I don’t think I’ll be able to look at a glass of lemonade again the same way.

Your ultimate duty in the game is to protect Sugar Kid from danger. Specifically, liquids will rain down randomly from pipes above him, threatening to melt him (painfully) in to oblivion. You can save him from harm by channeling the liquid via barriers swiped on to the screen. Unfortunately for you though, the larger the barrier and the more liquid it tries to support, the sooner it will break, bringing down liquid death on to Sugar Kid.

Add in spinning blocks, multiple liquid types, and game modes that range from trapping the Kid in a bubble, to needing to focus the liquid down specific floor grates and things can get complicated quickly. This is even before collecting 60 stars for the Challenge Levels where instead of earning stars, you need to protect them by not overstepping the restrictions placed upon you.

Did I mention that the game is disturbing? Should you turn on the ‘gore’ option (and if you’re old enough, I recommend you do), then you’ll have to deal with Sugar Kid not only bleeding when hit, but also falling apart piece-by-bloody-piece as his life-bar depletes, with the Kid practically dragging himself across the floor in agony near the end. It’s horrifying, but in that ‘am I really seeing this?’ kind of way - having rainbow filled hills and cutesy music chiming around you helps to solidify the strange tone.

Sugar Kid is, ultimately, a casual experience, albeit couched in a smoothly scaling and (at times) terrifying world that begs you to play ‘just one more level’. It’s hard to deny its addictive charm and is definitely worth picking up if you can stomach it.

Screenshots

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