Of all the games that I’ve downloaded for my iPhone, Newtonica2 by Fieldsystem Inc is quite possibly the nicest. Or the most aesthetically pleasing, at any rate. The graphics are fairly simple, but they look terrific. The home screen for the game, where you choose which level to play, is lovely. The background music is also very appealing.

The general idea of Newtonica2 is to guide a little yellow duck through a series of puzzle levels. Thirty-six levels, to be specific, which are set in outer space, and which gradually increase in difficulty. To propel your duck, simply touch the black grid-patterned spheres, which send off a cosmic wave that pushes the duck along. Be careful, though – each sphere only has one charge. The goal is to get your duck safely to the shiny blue sphere, thus completing the level.

Of course, it’s not always that simple. In some levels there are donuts to collect, and naturally, the path to the donut is not generally the clearest path to the goal. Also, there are lots of multi-colored smiley-face space creatures (called ELPPA according to Newtonica2’s iTunes description) to bounce off of and to generally get in your way. Sometimes they’re quite useful…or if you’re a not-so-great player like me, sometimes they’ll bounce you right off the screen.

If you want to know the truth, the not-so-great player issue is the only real problem I’ve found with this app. Which is very much my own problem, and not Newtonica2’s, I realize. However, my problem leads into the actual problem, which is that the game has no instructions whatsoever. Granted, gameplay is fairly intuitive, but a quick tutorial (and maybe an option for hints?) certainly wouldn’t hurt. I’ve been stuck on the 13th stage for two days! Also, for example: some levels have a star that you can touch, and it blazes a path to the goal, but…why? I can already see where the goal is, so I have no idea if there’s an actual use for the stars, and I can’t check the instructions for a clue.

That frustration aside, Newtonica2 itself is lovely and quite fun. Despite having been stuck on the same level for a few days (you can skip ahead, but I’m stubborn), I keep playing and keep trying, so this game definitely has an addictive quality. So, despite my whining, I absolutely recommend Newtonica2 to anyone who enjoys puzzle games. (And if you figure out how to clear Level 13, leave me a comment!)

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