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.

  • Rene, it's probably worth mentioning in the article that this game has been out before, back when it was called Casey's Contraptions. In fact, it was even featured in one of Leanna's "new and updated" posts a while back. It was a very clever and charming game, though in my opinion suffered from some problems needing pixel-perfect accuracy, making some of the levels frustrating and tedious. (I am probably in the minority here, but I have the same problem with Angry Birds and most other physics puzzlers). What Rovio's doing is just buying and rebranding it. From what I can tell, it doesn't even look like it was updated or modified much in any way beyond changing the name, and a marketing machine behind it. And of course, being Rovio, it's not universal, and doesn't have iCloud save-game syncing.
  • I think it should be pointed out that this appears to just be a rebranding of the game Casey's Contraptions. CC had spots in it for "updates" that never ever happened. Hopefully Rovio can add value, from that point of view, adding more levels that the original developers planned but then didn't implement. Stinks that I have to essentially buy the same game again but I guess that's how it goes. BTW, it is a good game!
  • Yup. Definitely worth a mention. Updated the article, thanks!
  • Seems like Rovio is getting a pass with having success with Angry Birds. Has anything new been added besides a rebrand?
  • Yeah, it does suck to have to rebuy. The article mentions it promises 100 levels. Casey's Contraptions only has 72 with "more coming" that never ever came. Rovio is much more likely to add new levels and has a proven track record of doing this with all their Angry Birds games. That's at least one positive!
  • I just bought the game. Should probably also mention there's a bug in this version that constantly pops up saying "This game is not recognized by Game Center." Makes the game pretty much unplayable until its fixed.
  • They just updated the app to fix this problem