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“Cut the Rope: Experiments” follows up on the smash mobile game

“Cut the Rope: Experiments” follows up on the smash mobile game (photo)

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Unless you’ve been under a very cozy rock, there’s no escaping that the popularity Apple’s iDevices has had a great impact on the video game industry. Among the changes wrought by the iPhone-centric seismic aftershocks has been the way that sequelization occurs on App Store games.

So many of the games on Apple’s digital download hub are priced as impulse buys with free content updates that keep you playing for as long as possible. These updates frequently offer new mechanics that add depth to the initial experience. “Angry Birds” has introduced the Toucan boomerang bird in this way and the pay-for-play Mighty Eagle, which clears tough puzzles for a small fee. With new chapters to long-tail games like “Angry Birds” coming regularly, the question gets posed: what exactly constitutes a sequel?

Indie dev studio ZeptoLab tries to answer that matter with “Cut the Rope: Experiments.” It’s the follow-up to the massive iOS hit “Cut the Rope,” where players need to perform the titular action to feed candy an adorable extra-terrestrial named Om Nom. In levels posed as a series of boxes, the sweet treats are attached to strings and a precise sequence of cuts is necessary to create the proper trajectory to get that sugar into Om Nom’s mouth. Along the way, other gimmicks–like candy floating in bubbles that need to be popped and gusts of air that change the direction of candy–get introduced.

“Experiments” adds a few wrinkles to this design. The physics-based puzzler introduces two new devices to aid players in their quest to feed Om Nom. A rope launcher that automatically attaches to candy helps you navigate around tricky obstacles while the candy’s falling through a level. The other’s a suction cup that you can place wherever you want on the level with a tap of your finger for precision placement of the precious candy. This all happens as a new character–a loopy scientist called The Professor–who’s trying to figure out Om Nom’s origins and you’ll get cutscenes and commentary on your performance as you move through the levels.

Is this enough to call “Experiments” a sequel as we generally think of them? It’s tough to say. Though it comes with 75 new levels and a skeletal plot, this new title doesn’t change that much about the core experience. In fact, the first third of the game rehashes stuff that seasoned “CTR” players will already know how to do and won’t provide much of a challenge in that regard. The rope launcher and suction cup levels are the real newness, contained in the latter two-thirds of the game, which aren’t terribly hard either.

Still, one consideration for starting fresh is the fact that ZeptoLab’s releasing “Cut the Rope: Experiments” on their own. They’d previously had a publishing deal with Chillingo, who’s since been acquired by EA. So, you can look at “Experiments” as a declaration of independence by the UK developer. It welcomes new players with a re-introduction, and gives a few new features to point the way to a new direction. The original “Cut the Rope” cost a measly $0.99 and added a crap-ton of free updates after launch, knocking the total number of levels up to 200. ZeptoLab will probably support “Cut the Rope: Experiments” in the same way, and the combination of robust add-ons, self-publishing and new gameplay mechanics should qualify it as a full-fledged sequel. Best of all, “Experiements” is still only 99 cents, making it a bargain whether you think of it as a true follow-up or not.

Do you think “Experiments” is going to be better than the original “Cut the Rope”? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…