Origin8 makes some very unique and engaging iOS games including Space Station: Frontier, Sentinel 3: Homeworld, AirBear, MonsterKill, and Robot Rampage among others. Tractor Trails is their newest game, and it’s a brain teasing puzzle game where you try to cover every square in a given level. You control a tractor driven by a chicken, and you’re trying to plant trees across the board. The chicken can’t steer very well or reach the brakes, so when you swipe in one direction, the tractor goes until it hits something.
The game starts out easy enough, buy becomes quite complex as ponds, bridges, wheelbarrows, stone pathways and more are introduced. It’s a surprise to see how challenging the levels can become, and you’ll definitely appreciate if you’re into brain teasing puzzle games. The challenge comes in trying to plant a tree in every square, because when you move in straight lines it can block some regions from being accessed again. The game features 130 levels that increase in difficulty at a very smooth pace, but never feel too easy.
With all of the levels, there’s definitely a unique challenge, but they all seem to blend together. The main problem is that there’s no personality or flair as seen in Polymer, the brain teaser from last week, or other Origin8 games. These are nice brain teasers, but the game has a hard time standing out from a packed App Store because there’s nothing truly unique, noteworthy, or engaging. The controls are also not that smooth when switching directions, and you can waste time when banging to a stop. Each level is scored on three stars, and one is based on time which is easily lost because the controls aren’t as smooth as required for the time constraints.
Tractor Trails ($0.99, Universal) becomes nice and difficult after the opening ten levels, but the game just doesn’t offer much incentive to pick it over many other games. It’s worth skipping unless you really love challenging puzzles, and don’t already have plenty of others in your existing iOS apps.