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    Daily iPhone App: Pudding Monsters brings Cut The Rope charm to a new franchise


    ZeptoLab is a Russian developer best known for their extremely popular iPhone game Cut The Rope, and its many spinoffs and other platform versions that have made their way out into the world. The company's latest game is Pudding Monsters, and while it's not a direct sequel to Cut the Rope, the new game is definitely heavily influenced by the old: This is a very cute puzzle game starring some charming monsters, and some simple physics mechanics that slowly stack up into more and more complex challenges.

    The cute monsters here are the Pudding Monsters, a globby group of eyeballs, basically, that scoot around a 2D plane when swiped, only stopping when they hit an obstacle or one of their friends. Any monsters that touch together fuse into a bigger monster, and then that monster slides around. On each plane, there are star spots that you need to align the monsters over, and that's the challenge: Slide all of your monsters in the right ways so that the stars align. That all may sound complicated, but like Cut the Rope, it's much clearer and easier when you actually do it. Plus the quick restart options for each of the game's 75 levels mean that even if you mess up, you can jump right back in and try again.

    Personally, I think I like Cut the Rope's rope physics a little bit better, but this game is just as charming and fun as Zeptolab's first big hit. Unlike Cut the Rope, it's not published by Chillingo (which is sort of a strange decision -- usually devs who publish with Chillingo stay with that company), so it might not reach the highest heights of Cut the Rope's success. But the game is great, and for just US$0.99, it's well worth picking up, especially if you're a Cut the Rope fan. There are both standard and HD versions for the iPhone and the iPad, so the game is weirdly not universal. But either one you choose is a good time.

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