For as much as I've railed against derivative puzzles on mobile platforms, when one does it right, it is difficult to put down. Follow the Rabbit, released yesterday by Gamaga and publisher armour Games, follows a very simple structure to create deviously complex levels and offers enough incentive to try your best, with escapes if it becomes too tough.
Navigating a platform to an exit door (through which the titular rabbit has disappeared), while optimally collecting three rings placed about the board, all with an economy of moves, is the point of Follow the Rabbit. Many other games are like this, of course, but the tools and objects on the level form solutions that are rewarding whether they're spontaneously conceived or pondered for a while.
For example, balloons will allow "Kermix", the blocky, red cartoon character you control, to reach a higher platform — or if you drop a moveable block on one, the balloon will then raise the block. You pop the balloon with a touch. I used the balloon to immobilize an enemy on a later board. It may have been more efficient to simply obstruct the baddie as I made my way to the door, but hey, I still got all three rings.
You're scored at the end of each level based on time, ring total, and number of moves. You're graded Good, Great or Perfect depending on whether you got one, two or three rings. I guess you could exit with no rings, but there's no point to that; the game offers you a skip level feature from the menu if something is too tough. The levels featuring two escape doors and a cloned Kermix who moves in lockstep were a little frustrating.
Rings seem to be the essential goal here, as you will unlock later boards once you collect enough. Ordinarily I'm not a fan of this, but a game as neatly designed as Follow the Rabbit deserves to enforce some standard for seeing what it has to offer. And while you can feel a little silly making decisions that add on a bunch of unnecessary moves, ultimately, that matters only if you're going for a high numerical score on that level. Some will, it didn't really matter to me.
Armor Games, well known as a publisher of web-based games, is no stranger to mobile gaming, either. But its offerings there typically have been ports of existing hits. Follow the Rabbit is a new game altogether, and armour did well to find Gamaga and then give this a release on the App Store. Goofing off with Follow the Rabbit can send you down a rabbit hole of a good hour when you meant to kill 20 minutes, but you'll have fun while you're in it.
Follow the Rabbit [iPhone and iPad universal app, $0.99]