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Carried Away Review

By Jess Lishman Jan 9, 2018

  1. Jess Lishman

    Jess Lishman Member Writer Editor

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    An endearing title from Huge Calf Studios, this Ski themed construction and physics simulator offers entertainment in the way of problem solving and inevitable catastrophe. Carried Away contains plenty to enjoy in its casual but sufficiently challenging layout. An easy game to hop in and out of and indulge in during spare moments that resembles Polybridge and contains some similar mechanics.



    Carried Away primarily has you building ski lifts to take your tiny fragile skiers up to their destinations. It follows the same formula as most games of this type in that with most builds you have a budget to stay within and each structure you build is affected by tension and stress. Going over budget scores you fewer points and not building strong enough structures obviously means that they fail. You build each level in the build screen and then see if it’s successful in the simulation screen, with a small but sufficient variety of materials available to complete your objectives. Different materials cost different amounts and in some cases trying to utilise the cheaper materials in a smarter way is beneficial, but going over budget doesn’t seem to fail you the level, it just deducts some points. The tutorial levels are well done and do a good job of explaining everything you need to know to get started. Once you’re off the tutorial ‘piste’ there are a variety of different levels available of varying difficulties, although you must complete easier levels to unlock more difficult ones. The difficulty will vary from person to person as the game revolves almost entirely around problem-solving ability.

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    As well as ski lifts, some levels require you to build ski jumps for skiers. These levels need different materials from the ski lifts and need to be tackled slightly differently. Once you have built each ski jump you then control the skier in the simulation and have some ability to manoeuvre them into a successful jump. However, it would seem that your skier doesn’t have to make it across the finish line in one piece. The game doesn’t seem to mind if the miniature ragdoll slides awkwardly across the line trailing blood, so long as it crosses the line. In both the ski jump and ski lift levels, there are occasionally additional objectives in the form of collecting stars. Building your ski lift or jump in a way that allows the skier to ‘collect’ the star. The additional objectives that are available ​
    in
    each level unlock medals, unlocking all the medals on a level displays a trophy next to your name on the leaderboard.​

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    The graphics in Carried Away are quite simplistic, which is not unexpected of simple physics builders and the nature of the game certainly doesn’t require the visuals to be stunning. The basic polygon style allows for the game to maintain an endearing feel while not distracting the player from the primary aim of the game. The colour palette used is also somewhat simplistic but again, it works well with the visual style.

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    The music is relaxing and pleasant but not particularly memorable. Slightly quirky beats provide a nice background to your puzzle solving and don’t take away from the game itself. There’s nothing that jumps out at you but this certainly isn’t a negative point as the music does add to the overall atmosphere and entertainment value of the game.

    Gameplay
    Graphics
    Sound/Soundtrack


    Pros/Cons

    Good puzzle solving gameplay
    Pleasant graphics
    Easy to get started
    Minimal replayability
    Fairly steep difficulty curve
    Very simplistic concept
     

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