Joining hands is a simple gesture, but if it was more widely adopted it would make the world a better place. The game Joining Hands by 10tons delivers a simple premise for a puzzle game that becomes surprisingly complex with a number of different intricacies. Now, there’s Joining Hands 2, which introduces all new characters that need to join hands. The base idea is that each level is filled with various limbed cute characters known as Peablins, and they’re only happy if each one of their hands is held. As you progress through the puzzles, there are special Peablins that have fixed arms, can only attach to rocks, limit the number of other Peablins that can be around them, and other restrictions.
There are 140 levels, and the sequel features a subtle storyline of collecting stars that feed off a comet that crash landed into the Peablins planet. Each of the levels provides a unique challenge, and you simply drag the Peablins into different segments to match up all of their hands. There are also stars to collect by placing a Peablin on top, while joining hands, and it gives you a small incentive to replay a level. The most noticeable aspect is that it’s really unlike anything else out there, and the sequel simply gives you more of the original idea. It would be nice to see more variation from the original game, as the only changes are the introduction of new Peablin types in the later levels.
The entire game is designed around making the game accessible to all ages, and it does a good job of that. You would think trying to placate younger audiences with puzzles, would turn off more mature players, but that’s not the case. Joining Hands 2 starts off fairly simple, but it becomes surprisingly complex about 20 levels into the game. What once seemed like a breeze can leave you stumped to the point of actually using the very generous hint system. The game is all about completing levels, so there’s no score, or time limits, and even the hints replenish every few seconds. The main drawback is that the overall level style blends together, especially if you’re familiar with the original game. Also, there’s a new Peablin introduced every 25 levels, and it can drag on to reach the next one.
Joining Hands 2 ($0.99, Universal) isn’t ground breaking, but it’s still plenty enjoyable, and worth picking up.