Earthbound and Kirby Makers Take to the Skies Once Again with Part-Time UFO

A legendary game studio invades the iOS and Android world.

Nintendo's already hitting it big on Android and iOS with Pokemon Go, Fire Emblem, and Super Mario Run. Now, one of their famed developers, HAL Laboratory is getting in on the action with Part-Time UFO, a charming retro puzzle game where you control a flying saucer with a grappling hook. Available today for $3.99 (iOS download, Android download), with no ads or in-app purchases, this game presents you with a variety of different challenges, from helping an elderly farmer put some crates of fruit on the back of his pickup truck, to rebuilding ancient ruins.

The better you do, the more you get paid, and you use that money to buy upgrades for your tiny ship -- but you can't use them all at once. You'll have to choose which unlocked upgrade is the best for a given scenario. In one, you may be dealing with nasty weather, so you'll want the outfit with a beanie to keep you warm. Or maybe you're annoyed by how much your crane sways, in which case you'd buy the Martial Arts Fighter upgrade to control it. Each scenario also has multiple objectives, and completing those earns you points that you use to unlock more of them.

The game is very physics-based, meaning that objects need to be set down in a certain way to prevent them from tipping over or falling out of a container when you let go. But you also have a timer to deal with, so you can't afford to spend too much time setting things up just right. Thankfully, you can pause at any time, restart the scenario, or exit and choose another, if things are too tricky for you.

Stay tuned for more news on Part-Time UFO and other hot mobile games coming to an app store near you.

About Tom McNamara

Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at