The smooth controls bring back welcome memories of developer Tiger Style's fantastic iOS game Spider: The Secret of Brice Manor. While Waking Mars by necessity lacks Spider's understated elegance, it displays the same smart and engaging puzzles and elegiac yet hopeful vibe.

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Having recently attended Tiger Style's Randy Smith's talk on the development of Waking Mars, it's all the easier to understand how much thought went into the planning and integration of the multitudes of plant responses. Many successful iOS games are built around a single fantastic mechanic—knock down the pigs! Jump across the rooftops! Slingshot yourself higher! Cut the rope!—but this one is built on a fantastic system.

That does mean that Waking Mars is a good deal chewier than your average wham-bam-thanks for the the cheap thrills iOS game. But it is entirely worthy of your time—I'm not finished, but I plan to keep on playing until I am. Players looking for a smart, deep, and evocative mobile game should look no further.

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The soundtrack is killer, too.

Waking Mars [App Store]