Necta Collectais a quirky pattern game with an insect theme. The main goal is to collect nectar from a diverse field of flowers in a certain order. You can play it in several game modes; Story, Flowerchain, Timeattack and Practice. There are 4 characters to choose from and they all move in different patterns, much like chess. There is the simple Bee, Maybug, Stagbeetle and Butterfly. The Flowerchain, Timeattack and Practice modes all take you straight to the games and allow you to choose which character you would like to use for the levels. The Story mode starts you with Bee character and takes you through this storyline:
“It’s a sunny day in Necta Valley, when suddenly Ms. Butterfly disappears. The only trace leads to the legendary Atlas Sprout, which is said to give immortality. Will you succeed in rescuing Ms. Butterfly and protect the Atlas Sprout from evil forces? Find a path on which you can reach all flowers of one type. The marked fields show you what flowers are reachable next. Collect all nectar in every field of flowers, and the level is completed. Hurry up and receive gold medals as a reward for your efforts. Discover a variety of flowers in the 99 levels. But be careful: Don’t get caught by the hornets in the higher levels and stay on your path, then you will end up solving the mystery of the Atlas Sprout.”
As you pass the different levels of puzzles you are entertained with a short animation that progresses the story. You will unlock the additional characters as you get to more difficult levels. Since the characters all have different movement patterns this makes the puzzles a bit more challenging. The story mode has 99 levels and includes an autosave system so you can quit at any time and resume your last position. I would prefer my apps be linked to Game Center where the information can be saved separate from the app but it is nice to see a built in save system. The Timeattack will challenge you with 12 timed stages while the Flowerchain Mode will ask you to crack a combination pattern in the flower beds.
Necta Collecta is definitely unlike any game concept I have seen. The graphics and animations are really well done and the theme is fluid throughout. I did have problems remembering the patterns of each bug and learned to solve the problems more by trial and error. The flower puzzles are very short and don’t seem very challenging. There is also very little gratification when the puzzle is solved. One thing I really enjoy about puzzle apps is the feeling of accomplishment when you are able to conquer the task. I’m not feeling like there is much to conquer here. I am also a little confused by the theme. The characters are very cute and they keep to the bug theme and storyline but it seems very elementary. The story has really nothing to do with the puzzles you finish, you are just fed a bit more of the story with an animation after every set of puzzles. I did take into account that it may be developed for children, and even had mine try it out. The app description states it is for “yet-to-be-gamers” up to “determined gamers”. It would seem it is for everyone but it just did not keep my interest in it enough to continue playing. Nor did it compel my children to continue. They just didn’t seem into saving poor Ms Butterfly.
Necta Collecta is not a bad app, but it is not up to par with other puzzles I’ve seen. It definitely must be commended on its design, story animations and concept. What it lacks is the ability to pull the gamer into replaying it. Might be a better starter for children though not too young as the move patterns may discourage them from being able to solve the levels. Necta Collecta is a universal app with HD graphics and Retina Display support. It is currently on sale for $0.99.