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Portabliss: Kona's Crate (iOS)


Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: Kona's Crate!

The contents of Kona's crate are left up to your imagination. Given the inelegant mechanism with which you're meant to deliver it, and the celerity with which you'll catapult it into walls, you're best off imagining the crate full of teddy bears, hair extensions and French designer duvets -- nothing that can break. Thinking of it as a vital supply of fruits and vegetables for a remote village will put you on a sad path, straight to some famished children, licking at the disgusting smoothie seeping out of a wooden container.

Kona's Crate is a test of patience that you will routinely fail. You need to keep your jet-propelled delivery platform level by independently igniting a pair of rockets on the bottom, and tapping either side of the iPhone's screen to adjust your balance. Veer too much from a horizontal position and you'll head in the wrong direction, or get stuck in a loop of overcorrection as you try to keep the crate from sliding off.

With just a little bit of patience and consideration, you might be able to gently tilt the platform and levitate your cargo all the way through each hazardous maze. But you won't, because there's a timer and it's easier to just feel out the physics, improvising as you go. If you've played Trials HD, you're already familiar with the kind of failure foresight that comes with these balancing games. Your brain will recognize an imminent disaster a split-second before it truly happens, and you'll hit a button for an instantaneous retry.

It's that kind of game. You'll repeatedly rush to the end, spin out of control and idiotically pin the crate to the floor with your rockets. The process of getting this vehicle under control is equally hilarious and frustrating, but never off-putting. The only thing I'd advise against (for sanity's sake) is trying to get three stars for every delivery.

By the time I'd gotten halfway through the game's sixty levels, it sufficed to just fling that stupid crate at the waiting Tiki chief and consider it a job well done. He's got other things to worry about anyway, like which of those sixty crates holds the crowbar he ordered.

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