Review: Lost Head

LostHead

Poor Franken-Stitch has lost his perfectly round marble of a head and needs help reattaching it to his stationary, noggin-less body. Alawar Entertainment’s aptly titled cutesy-casual physics puzzler, Lost Head, leaves this task (and Franken-Stitch’s head) in your hands in well over 50 levels of head-rolling fun.

Putting this patchwork Frankenstein back together isn’t quite so easy though. Somehow his decapitated dome becomes repeatedly stuck in puzzle boards full of ramps, springs, expandable/shrinkable sponges, fan blowers and other contraptions. It’s your job to examine the layout and figure out the timing and order of which pieces to remove and which pieces to activate in order to send the ol’ brain can tumbling towards its stitched torso waiting at the bottom of the stage.

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The stages start out simple enough, but soon require manipulating devices in such a way that would put a smile on Rube Goldberg’s face. Even as the levels grow increasingly complex, though, figuring out the puzzles is never overly confounding. At least not so much that you can’t eventually reach the exit after a few retries. The trick is solving the puzzles quickly enough, while also reaching the bonus collectibles, to bank more than a measly one-star performance rating.

Up to three stars can be earned in each stage based on completion time, and these stars are important because they are needed to unlock additional worlds and proceed through the game. Just completing a puzzle won’t get you very far; eventually you will need to master the mechanics and hone your left-click reflexes enough to nudge up those one- and two-star puzzle scores to reach the next unlock milestone. Getting by in one piece may not be too tough, but figuring out the alternate path to snag that rubber ducky or coffee mug hovering seemingly out of reach takes a little more thought.

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If you couldn’t tell already, Lost Head is one adorable game. It’s hard not to take to the green fella as he blinks his innocent eyes and grins a fanged smile while his head bounces to and fro. Then, once his head is intact, he expresses his joy with a celebratory double fist-pump dance. Unfortunately, the charm ends at Franken-Stitch’s loveable emotes, as the puzzle backdrops, although colorful, are plainly detailed and the music never deviates from a single looping track that quickly wears out its welcome. Before long you will want to toggle the music volume slider all the way down.

Lost Head’s only other drawback is one of longevity. Franken-Stitch may be sweeter than a pumpkin pail full of Halloween candy, but he doesn’t have enough meat on his bones or brains in his head to hold your attention for very long. Not much time or effort is required to clear this game’s puzzle stack, as it’s fairly easy to crunch through within an hour or so. Thankfully, Alawar offers a 60-minute trial, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t at least give it a quick whirl.

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Pros:
+ Franken-Stitch makes rolling decapitated heads warm and fuzzy
+ Clever Rube Goldbergian physics puzzles

Cons:
– The puzzle and charm well runs drive after an hour
– Plain music and level backgrounds

Game Info:
Platform: PC
Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
Developer: Diesel Puppet
Release Date: 9/6/2012
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1
Source: Review code provided by publisher

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!