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.
Diplomatic relations between planets doesn't have to be complicated. Sometimes you can just help move some boxes.
The money you earn after a job is used to buy upgrades for your little ship.
You can enable one-handed play on the settings screen.
Part-Time UFO supports a variety of languages.
Some of your ship upgrades can get quite expensive.
Completing your jobs with flair will give you more medals, which you need to unlock more jobs.
These icons give you hints about the bonuses you can earn on the job.
Your grappling hook can also be used to fish in the ocean, but your catch can tumble back into the water if you don't set it down correctly.
Tapping on certain areas of the screen in certain sections of the game can unlock new outfits.
You get three jobs per page, and you can restart them or exit and try another on this page at any time, with no penalties.
The wardrobe section is made more inviting by a fashion runway. Who knew that little green men could be trend-setters?
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.