With the likes of XCOM, The Banner Saga, Bioshock, Deus Ex: The Fall and more clearly illustrating how far mobile platforms have matured, it can often be all too easy to forget about how, at its core, mobile gaming used to be about quick, satisfying bursts of gaming entertainment on the go. Specifically, that notion of having a few minutes to spare away from your main gaming setup without needing to invest a significant amount of time, is a maxim that The Cookie Caper, by two-person developer Tiny Ogre Games, manages to embody with aplomb.
A 2D platform puzzler with charm to spare, The Cookie Caper manages that great design feat of both being easy to play, yet difficult to master. Casting players as Mr. Cinnamon Snapz, a seemingly sentient gingerbread man, the goal is to scoop up chocolate chip emblems dotted around a number of confectionary-themed worlds. As one might expect however, the task is easier said than done with Lollipop Soldiers and fierce Chatter Teeth (among others), requiring evasion in order to be successful.
Spicing up the proceedings are various lifts and teleporters that need to be utilised in order nab every last chocolate chip emblem and when combined with some rather cunning, maze-like level design, it’s fair to say that The Cookie Caper provides a staunch enough challenge, even in the early going, to keep experienced gamers engaged. Like many other mobile efforts that embrace a pick up and play approach, The Cookie Caper scores every stage out of three stars. How it judges performance in this regard, is primarily against time of completion at the point that the player has collected all the chocolate chip emblems on a given level.
Naturally, this lends a fair amount of longevity to the proceedings as players hone their platforming and memory skills in order to shave valuable seconds off their time in an effort to garner that prized three star rating. The star rating system also considerably feeds into the accessiblility of The Cookie Caper too, with the only a single star needed to be earned on a stage before allowing the player to continue onto the next.
In terms of the actual platforming mechanics, The Cookie Caper feels responsive enough but occasionally when dealing with the teleports and lifts (which require you to swipe upward), you can often find your sugary avatar shifting from side to side rather than engaging the desired mechanic. Elsewhere, the game could certainly stand to having some additional themed worlds as well as more enemy types but as of right now, the current offering remains sufficent regardless.
Aesthetically speaking, if Willy Wonka made a mobile game, it would, undoubtedly, look like The Cookie Caper. Flooding the screeen with colourfully sweet backgrounds and twee, whimsically-happy characters the game is pretty much the happiest and most visually cheerful looking game you can buy on mobile right now. Additionally, the setting coupled with the easily accessible gameplay, also ensures that The Cookie Caper is a decent proposition for the young un’s, too.
Though not an especially ambitious title (it is the developer’s first game after all), The Cookie Caper nevertheless entertains and engages on its relatively modest concept. With compelling puzzle platforming mechanics, easily accessible gameplay and sweetly colourful visuals, Tiny Ogre Games’ inaugrual title is that best sort of sweet treat as it can be enjoyed anywhere and at anytime without costing you a visit to the dentist.
The Cookie Caper is set to hit the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices on Monday, July 13th.
An Android copy of the game was kindly supplied by the publisher for the purposes of this review and was tested on a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.