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Game Day: Island Delta

Island Delta is an action-packed puzzle game from indie development studio Mantisbite and Noodlecake. The game follows heroes Zoe and Baxter who are on a mission to save Zoe's robot, Harold, from the evil Dr. Gunderson.

The universal app looks great on an iPad where the high-resolution graphics and silky-smooth animations can be appreciated to their greatest extent. You are Zoe or Baxter depending on which level you’re playing. In all, the three-fourths perspective game has thirty levels spanning five chapters. Although there is an 'iCloud save' setting, which I assumed saved progress and synced it to multiple devices, I was unable to sync progress from my iPad to my iPhone.

The game starts on Dr. Gunderson's island stronghold, which is protected by robots, lasers, and other defenses. You must solve a series of puzzles to advance through the levels while avoiding Gunderson's minions. The primary tool for interacting with your surroundings is an anti-gravity gun. Tap on something to pick it up, then tap again where you want to throw it. You can toss enemies to defeat them, batteries into power panels to activate doors, and boxes onto platforms to trigger switches. The anti-gravity gun is fun to use and a nice touch that sets Island Delta apart from similar games.

The controls for moving around each level are probably the weakest aspect of Island Delta. You have a virtual joystick under your finger that you drag in the direction you want your character to move. It works but can be frustratingly imprecise at times.

Island Delta's storyline is engaging, and the pace was comfortable. There are no timers or other mechanics that force you through levels, which I appreciate. The game also includes collectibles throughout that open up secret areas in the game and are an incentive to explore and enjoy each level thoroughly.

Island Delta is one of the best-looking iOS games I've played recently. The game is infused with lighthearted humor and a soundtrack that give it a retro-futuristic spy vibe. It's fun and exciting without the stress of gameplay mechanics that force the pace. Although the controls for navigating levels could be better, the puzzles, artwork, and other aspects of Island Delta make up for those shortcomings.

Island Delta is available on the App Store for $2.99.

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