So what do a couple of gears and a hamster add up to? The sequel to the best-selling puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod Touch, that's what!
I was able to download the game for my iPod Touch when it was still being offered for free at the iTunes App Store but didn't get around to playing it until early this afternoon. It's been two hours, I barely got any work done, but I'm still hooked.
I didn't get to play the first Geared video game but from what I gather, it didn't have that perky little hamster running around in the huge, golden gear. But that's only one of the things that sets Geared 2 apart from it: personality.
The first two levels guide you on what you need to do in the game. What you have to do is drag and drop gears onto the setup on the screen so that all of the gears will be inter-connected with one another. Once they're all connected, the gears run at full speed and throw the running hamster out of the screen in a flurry. A bar at the bottom of the screen shows you the the types of gears you have available as well as how many you can still use to complete the puzzle.
The game is packed with over 500 levels; 60 of these being official ones and 440 being user-submitted levels. Geared 2 also features an upgraded new menu interface as well as new ghost gears, sun/moon gears, and new wall objects.
I love the concept behind Geared 2. Though it's not something that we haven't seen before in the gaming world, I like that the developers chose to walk on the quirkier side by adding the hamster and using a softer pastel color theme to the entire game. The game is addictive and offers unlimited gameplay. Why unlimited? Because it comes with a level editor that will allow you to design your own levels and upload it to share with others. Likewise, you will also be able to download Geared levels that other players have uploaded.
I think one thing that Geared 2 could use is a "how to play" instruction somewhere in its menu. I know I said that the first two levels taught you the basics, but when I encountered the brown "x" wall object (which means that you can't directly position the gear over that area but can "drop" one by releasing a gear on top of it), it took me a good twenty minutes before I finally figured it out on my own. It's not a big thing but it would probably help the average, not-so-quick gamer understand the game and the elements in it better.
You can get Geared 2 for your iPhone or iPod Touch here: iTunes App Store.