With the name Plummit, I was secretly hoping that this game might have something to do with the amusing hobby of base jumping, giving players the thrill of a near-death experience after jumping off a skyscraper with only a pilot chute. Developer Purplenose has instead opted to use the name for a Pipes-inspired puzzler.
Pipes was a strange little game that had you putting together a path for water to flow through from point A to B. To build the path you were given random blocks which you could place anywhere between the points. To make things harder you were also against a timer which would release the flow of water into your pipes after a given time. If you didn't have a closed path for the water to flow through, the water would leak and you would need to restart.
The principles of Plummit are much the same with a number of different modes and enhancements. The main mode of Island Hopper is very much a Pipes clone with a few extras. In this mode, blocks fall from the sky and it is your job to get the pieces into place before the water pipe begins gushing water. This mode also has a little Tetris in it as the pieces fall from the sky, forcing you to get them into place before they hit the ground.
The second mode is Puzzle. This uses the same elements of path-building but instead of pitting you against a timer, you are free to build your path from a set number of pieces and in your own time. New objects are added in this mode, including path-destroying cannons, mirror blocks, ice and bombs. I preferred the more sedate pace of this mode as it provides more of a challenge.
The final mode is Combat, allowing you to compete in an arcade-style battle against a second player. Again, this mode reminds of Tetris and was a lot of fun to play, despite requireing two players to use the same keyboard.
With 160 levels available over the three modes, it will take a while to see everything, and should you complete everything, you can extend the game with a selection of free level packs too.
As ever with puzzle games, the gameplay is more important than the graphics, but it doesn't harm if you have a nice style and good visuals. Plummit does a good job of keeping the screen uncluttered and making it easy for the player to see what is happening. Sprites are large with vibrant colours and presentation is top notch.
Audio is fine, but adds nothing to the game, so you can listen to the radio if you tire of the techno beats on offer. Control posed no problems, with both the mouse and keyboard responding quickly, especially during Island Hopper mode.
With a fair learning curve (helped by a good tutorial), easy controls, bright visuals and solid gameplay, Plummit joins the ranks as one of the better-than-average puzzle games. It isn't a game that will keep you hooked for hours at a time, but it does a good job of updating an old favourite.
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