Swipe to roll through fanciful worlds

Gears is a fun ball-rolling game with a steampunky feel, excellent 3D graphics, and both swipe and tilt control schemes.

Gears is a fun ball-rolling game with a steampunky feel, excellent 3D graphics, and both swipe and tilt control schemes (the former much easier to use than the latter).

The game has 27 levels spread across three worlds, and in each level you're trying to safely roll your ball from the top of the level to the bottom without falling off, while picking up as many points as possible along the way. You roll down ramps, over rotating gears, through gates and past blowers, trampolines, and an increasingly diverse array of obstacles--and you also have to choose between alternating routes and solve spatial puzzles to advance. From start to finish, Gears looks great (especially on the latest hardware), with immersive graphics that make great use of height and motion.

Swipe control is the default setting, and by far the most reliable and accurate way to move your ball, with your direction and momentum controlled by swiping anywhere on the screen. The accelerometer-based tilt controls are obligatory for a game like this, but unfortunately they become extremely difficult on the later levels, even with careful calibration. Gears wisely offers four difficulty settings no matter which control scheme you choose: Easy (definitely start with this, with no time limit and infinite lives), Normal (a generous time limit with infinite lives), Hard ("the way nature and the developer intended," a tight time limit with infinite lives), and Brutal (the Hard time limit but with one life).

If tilt controls aren't a must for you, Gears is a rewarding arcade puzzler and an all-around good-looking game, even if you just want to poke around on Easy.

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