iPhone Game of the Day: The Line provides fun in inch-long doses

On iPhone
The Line
Price: $1.99/£1.19
Size:21.3 MB
Get it now on iTunes: US/ UK

If you tell us we're going to have fun playing a game that's essentially just drawing a line, well, we hope you'll understand a touch of skepticism. Qix was a very long time ago. However,Doodle Jumpis essentially just tilting your iPhone right to left all the time, and that game was kind of a big deal. After you play The Line for a few minutes, we have a feeling you might just feel the same way about it too: Who knew such a simple approach could make for such an interesting game?

So, we've already given away the surprise that The Line is based around very basic art. Each level is a series of lines connected by dots, and you play a little dude named Eddy who is actually part of the line itself. Eddy will move naturally along the path in front of him, and his goal is to collect a certain number of blue orbs in order to open up the portal at the goal. The only tools you have at your disposal are a pencil and an eraser, a fire spell to speed yourself up, and an ice spell to slow yourself down. Seems easy so far, yes? So where does the challenge come in?

Actually, when it comes to difficulty, The Line has plenty to offer. As Eddy progresses, you'll find yourself erasing lines and drawing new ones very quickly, trying to figure out the best way to complete each level. No puzzle game would be complete without lots of environmental obstacles, and The Line throws that at you too as you inch your way through its sixty five levels. Early on, you'll meet wavy red lines that you cannot cross or else you'll melt into nothingness (and wow, are they are annoying). As you proceed, you'll come face to face with spiked balls that explode, lines that cannot be erased, bolts of lightning and much more.

You only need five orbs to make it to the goal, but if you enjoy a bit of extra challenge, you can go for a total of seven. The further you progress, the much harder you'll have to work for those extra two, but it can be worth it if you want to fully explore each level. What helps in this quest is the ability to look around the map with a slide of two fingers. You can only do it when Eddy is frozen, which you can do at any time by tapping the ice icon. It'll buy you a handful of extra seconds, but that may be all you need to figure out where the path should lead next.

Our favorite part of The Line was the way it challenged us to think on our feet (ironic, considering Eddy doesn’t have any). Accompanied by a jazzy, lighthearted soundtrack, the game is a great pick up and play title. One of its only weaknesses is you can get stuck in a level (it won’t let you bail out back to the menu), but that extra logic power just might be good for your noggin. Besides, Eddy dies in such a sad little way when you screw up, you're going to want to work hard to keep him going for that goal (and don't even get us started on the cute little squeaky sounds he makes).

Mar 21, 2011