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Aiko Island: Holidays HD (iPad) Review

In Short
Does everything in the App Store really need a holiday edition?

It's Christmastime, so you know what that means - every game on the App Store will feel the need to rebrand itself with a holiday theme, despite how much sense it actually makes. Some apps - like my current favorite Order and Chaos - skin the existing game with a Christmas theme, instantly transforming elfin quest-givers into Santa's little helpers and the like. Others, like Cut the Rope, release standalone holiday apps to satisfy your Christmas craving. App Store favorite Aiko Island chose to go the second route this year, and so now we have Aiko Island Holdays. Does this spin-off warrant your time? Especially if you've already dealt with all the Aiko and cookies in the original?

If you didn't play the original Aiko Island, I'll let you know how the whole thing works. Players are presented with a screen filled with multicolored little blocks, and it is your job to get the blue Aiko off the screen without disturbing or knocking off the red ones. It works like most other physics-based iOS puzzlers in that it is easy to learn but hard to master, and dozens upon dozens of levels ensure you'll spend plenty of time working toward that mastery.

The Christmas version of this island, sadly, is a lot like most other Christmas-themed standalone apps in that it is far too similar to the original. In Aiko Island Holidays, you're doing the exact same thing you'd be doing playing the main game, only with snowflakes and Christmas trees. We saw the same thing with the Cut the Rope holiday version from last year, and from the unending updates to the Angry Birds Seasons spin-off app. These Christmas apps are cute, sure; but they are really only intended for the most die-hard of fans, the ones that count the seconds until they get that next handful of levels. Everyone else can pretty much steer clear.

Final Rating: 20%

Transmitted: 5/24/2018 2:29:17 AM