HAL Laboratory is best known as the creator of Super Smash Bros. and Kirby's Adventure. Part Time UFO is their first foray onto Android, and oh boy does it look just as charming as their previous console efforts. You get to play the part of an adorable UFO that has just arrived on Earth in order to help the planet's citizens with its handy extendable claw. Essentially you pick up odd jobs from random non-player characters to then use your claw crane to grab, move, and stack different objects on a designated platform.
Originally this title was only available in Japan under the name Working UFO. Luckily it has received an English translation and is now available on the Google Play Store in the West under the new name Part Time UFO.
Now, besides the excellent pixel-based graphics that exude HAL Laboratory's familiar style, it's worth mentioning that this is a premium release with a single upfront price of $3.99. I also find it fantastic that Google Play Games Services are supported with the inclusion of an achievement system.
The gameplay is similar to the majority of mobile claw machine games, as you are tasked with picking up a ton of different objects with the UFO's crane claw. Fortunately the gameplay extends past the simple mechanics found in those claw games as you also have to move those objects to a designated platform to then stack them to the best of your abilities, all without leaving anything behind.
As you complete your tasks, you are rewarded with in-game currency that can be used to purchase new costumes for the UFO. These costumes will not only change how you look but will also add new abilities to your repertoire.
For anyone familiar with the Kirby series of games it's difficult to not notice how similar the UFO's design looks in this release. While we may not have an official Kirby game on Android yet, Part Time UFO is surely a great substitute to tide fans over. It may not offer the traditional platforming gameplay found in the majority of Kirby titles, but its cute theme and intuitive claw mechanic exudes a style we are all familiar with that just so happens to work great on a touch screen. Plus it doesn't hurt that this is a premium release that guarantees the full game can be enjoyed without any smarmy advertisements or in-app purchases interrupting your experience. That's a win in my book no matter how you slice it.