Can you feel it? That buzzing in the air? That's the feeling of the excitement of a new Nitrome tingling at your senses. Or someone just stuck a fork in the microwave, but it's more likely the former. Power Up is a physics-based puzzler with a high-voltage bolt of challenging fun that lasts for up to 32 levels.
On each level, you'll find two robot heads. One's surging with luscious electric beauty, while the other could use a bit of a charge. Your goal is to create a path of metal blocks to transport some of that electric power from the first robot head to the second. This is done by grabbing blocks with the mouse and carrying them where you want them to go. When your path reaches the goal, you've still got to hold your breath for another few seconds for the robot to charge, so you'd better hope your building isn't too precariously made!
To help you build your paths and towers of teetering blocks, you'll find some levels have magnetic blocks that can hold metal blocks together, honey-covered blocks that can stick to any surface, coffin blocks that help you cross treacherous grounds, tesla coils that can pass electric current between non-adjacent locations, chests that store and move unused blocks, and other tricks to help you get from Bot A to Bot B. Keep in mind though, you've got to keep your current out of water and other dangerous situations, and the current has to pass through electricity-conducting objects to count (so those wood blocks and honey blocks are great for support, but they can also become obstacles if you're not careful).
Analysis: While Nitrome's take on the A-to-B puzzle game is unique, there are unfortunately some notable bugs that may make playing this game a bit frustrating. Aside from some glitches with visual and audio elements (sound effects looping after the associated action has already ended, "collision" clouds appearing where there isn't anything happening at all, etc.), there are also some gameplay glitches to deal with. The physics engine used here gives the objects a bit of "bounce," but perhaps a bit too much bounce. Occasionally, the tiniest collision can send pieces flying in an almost exaggerated flurry of motion. Some players have also noted that the current may flow from one robot to the other, but the second robot does not charge.
The controls for this game can be problematic to get used to as well. When you grab a block, you're essentially holding on to it by the specific point your cursor is on. This means that it can rotate on your cursor's axis, due to gravity. This is useful for flipping blocks to different orientations, but a pain if you just want to lay a block flatly on top of a tower. This, in conjunction with the collision exaggeration mentioned above, means that a very patient and steady hand is useful in completing most levels.
Despite the numerous bugs (which may hopefully be fixed in the future), credit must be given for what could be considered a bit of a change of pace from some of Nitrome's other products. Rather than a time-pressured rush to the finish line where three hits means you have to start a level over, Power Up is a game that relaxes the pace a bit. You have all the time in the world to finish a level (although there is a scoring bonus for speedy runs), and you don't have to worry about losing lives. Drop a piece in the water? No problem, you can either fish it out or pull it out of the chest again, depending on the level. Power Up doesn't force you to play any certain way at all. In fact, each level is practically a sandbox for experimentation by itself. Sometimes, taking a few extra minutes to plan out a level makes the victory charge all the more energizing.