Eets scores on two levels: the basic game mechanics, and the eye-poppingly cute design wrapped around it. This independently produced puzzle game challenges you to take a creature (named Eets) and lure, scare, or hurl him up and down each map to reach his reward. But Eets' charm lies in the sweets-obsessed characters and devices, from cannons that fire chocolate chips to a giant pig that shoots smaller, caped pigs out of its butt. You control Eets largely by controlling what he eats: Different foods change his mood and his mobility, to make him jump large gaps or cringe and turn around at a ledge. And when all else fails, you can blow obstacles out of his way, or let a prankster whale suck him into its maw and shoot him out its blowhole.

This all suits the feel of the game, which is more about nudging and guesstimating than making precise calculations. You set up the elements on the board, hit "play," and wait to see whether Eets makes his goal; if he fails, you have to pull the plug (or watch him fall to his death) and try again. The game has been compared to The Incredible Machine, but there's nothing machinelike about the way everything on the board interacts. It's as cute as slapping puppies, and most of the levels are accessibly easy, making Eets a perfect game for sugar-high puzzle addicts of any age.

Beyond the game: You can build your own maps in the game's editor and share them online, which means the growth of the user community will determine how well the game holds up.


Worth playing for: Obsessive care went into every silly detail, from the obstacles ("radioactive ginseng"?) to the acid-candyland backdrops.

Frustration sets in when: Although you can trigger some of the elements while Eets is in motion, you can't fix or adjust them without starting over, so be prepared for a lot of trial and error.


Final judgment: The well-tuned design and the humor behind Eets' concept make it relentlessly delightful.