In Chillingo's newest iOS game Tin Man Can, you'll work to help a friendly robot named Tic make his way home across four worlds of level-based play. At the beginning of each stage, the little robot is dropped off by a spaceship, and must glide, bounce or hover his way through the levels from left to right, until he reaches the spaceship on the other end. While Tin Man Can initially looks a lot like Tiny Wings (or another gravity / momentum based game), it's actually a lot more difficult to master.
The most challenging thing about Tin Man Can is Tic's extremely limited fuel supply. While riding on the ground won't exhaust fuel, hovering or jumping will, so even a few seconds of tapping and holding on the screen will be enough to send Tic falling back down to the ground, or to the bottom of a pit as is more often the case. Small pink "hovatrons" are scattered throughout each stage, and collecting them will give Tic an instant boost to his fuel.
These hovatrons work as currency outside of stages, but they're much more important than basic coins, as collecting them is often the difference between life and death. In some of these stages, the gaps between platforms can last for five or more seconds of controlled flight, so you'll need to hit all of the hovatrons in your path to give Tic enough energy to actually land safely on the other side. Other levels contain additional obstacles or boosts like lasers that can shoot Tic upwards, bounce pads, clouds that block the path through the sky, and even rockets or other vehicles that can be used to clear a large section of the level without having to worry about so quickly running out of fuel.
Three batteries can also be found in each stage, with these batteries acting like "stars," adding to your overall level rating. Each level is also timed, so there's limitless replayabiilty here as you're allowed to go back through levels to collect missed batteries or simply try to decrease your finish time. While similar games like Tiny Wings don't offer levels, and instead offer a randomized layout of the game each time you play, Tin Man Can offers static stages that remain the same each time, so it then becomes a matter of memorization in order to know where the hovatron path will lead and exactly when you should start to fly.
Since these levels never change, it does allow for roadblocks in the overall path, if you can't seem to finish one particular level to unlock the next. You can use hovatrons to unlock cheats at the beginning of each stage, like invincibility or a large jetpack, but these are incredibly expensive. If you simply must skip a stage without completing it, it's a better choice to pay a smaller amount of hovatrons to unlock the next stage without actually "cheating."
Since Tin Man Can is already so challenging, it makes the inclusion of multiplayer even more daunting. While we didn't have any luck actually finding anyone else online to play with, the game does allow for multiplayer trials amongst friends or strangers alike as players work to prove they have what it takes to masterfully clear a stage.
Tin Man Can's charming graphics and soothing soundtrack work well to draw the player in, but it's the amount of challenge and replayability overall that will likely keep them coming back for more. This isn't just a casual "endless runner" or "platformer," it's a game requiring skill and timing that might not be for everyone. If you enjoy more depth with your iOS games however, Tin Man Can is definitely something to look into.
Download Tin Man Can on iOS for $0.99 >
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