A rolling head stars in When Ian Fell in the Machine (out now, $0.99), an endless falling game with smooth, responsive tilt controls. Ian is the name of this head, which somehow manages to be happily alive without a body.
One day, Ian rolls past a series of signs that point him to an opportunity for finding free sausages and even gold. Unfortunately, it’s a trap he falls into. Down a sausage machine he plummets, descending from one platform to another. Unluckily for Ian, it turns out there aren’t many sausages to be found. Instead, there are plenty of buzz saws in this machine that’s been designed to turn the littlest head into a bloody pulp. As Ian plunges deeper into the machine, staying alive becomes more and more of a challenge. There are seesaw platforms, moving saws and platforms, lasers, tumbling meat choppers, and rubbery round discs that will bounce Ian about.
Along the way, you’ll want to collect as many coins as possible, especially gold ones, since those count for five silver coins. If you’re lucky enough to chance upon a sausage, eating it will not only give Ian a cute hat but also turn him into Midas. Every buzz saw he touches will transform into gold coins.
As you accumulate your stash of coins, you can purchase tools and power-ups. The first I went for was the monocle, which enables Ian to spot more gold coins. Another extremely helpful gadget is a helmet, which gives Ian two extra lives. Bombs and sausages are single-use items. The former destroys all obstacles within range once activated. All this equipment extends the replay value of the game, but only to a point.
Although When Ian Fell in the Machine starts of fun and even addictive, it eventually may feel monotonous and repetitive. I believe this is because there isn’t enough variation in the gameplay during the descent. Even changing the difficulty level doesn’t appear to introduce very many differences, though in the hard difficulty three buzz saws chase down after Ian. In addition, though the obstacles are challenging, they all mainly come in variations of buzz saws.
iFanzine Verdict: When Ian Fell in the Machine is a fun endless falling game that should appeal to many casual gamers. It’s got a decent replay value and may be addictive at the start. However, it’s questionable how long it will entice you to return for more since it does start to feel repetitive after some time.