Amazing Alex hits the App Store, ricochets off physics-based fun

Amazing Alex for iPhone and iPod touch, and Amazing Alex HD for iPad, are now available in the App Store. The physics-based puzzle game, originally sold on the App Store as Casey's Contraptions, was bought and re-branded by Angry Birds maker, Rovio. It promises 100 levels of challenging fun, the ability to create and share your own levels, and the frequent, free updates that have made Angry Birds an enduring hit.

Based on the concept of a Rube Goldberg device -- cartoonish, comedic contraptions, outlandishly over-engineered to do simple things like catch roadrunners or put on trousers in as ridiculously complex a way as possible -- your job is to take the house full of toys and set them up to bounce, bash, and boom Amazing Alex through his tasks in as joyous, as calamitous a way as possible, trying to get as many of those now-infamous three stars along the way as you can.

Amazing Alex starts off easily enough, with a series of carefully guided levels that aim to teach you how to position and rotate options Enigmo-style around the virtual room so a soccer ball can land just-so in a basket. The difficulty levels rises from there.

Come up with the best solution you can to help Amazing Alex clean his room, battle card board robots, or accomplish any of the other 100 missions -- you know, everyday kid stuff -- and share them with your friends. Grab the 35 props and make your own missions, and share those. Or download missions shared by others. If user-generated content isn't your thing, Rovio also promises free updates to keep Amazing Alex on his toes and the game fresh.

If you previously owned Casey's Contraptions, which is no longer in the App Store, it does suck that you need to buy Amazing Alex again, but with Angry Birds under their belt, Rovio has shown they know how to manage a game and you should get enough updates and new content out of them to make up for the double sales dip.

We're playing Amazing Alex now and will be back with a review once we've knocked it, and him, around awhile. In the meantime, Amazing Alex is available now for iPhone and iPod touch, and Amazing Alex HD is available for iPad. If you grab one or both, let us know what you think. Hit game worthy?

$0.99 - Amazing Alex - Download now

$2.99 - Amazing Alex HD - Download now

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.