February 1, 2010 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili
Trundle's release last week by Mobile Bros. was well received by iPhone users looking for a fun and free puzzle-platformer (with downloadable level packs), but it also was the source of online quarrels over whether it "ripped off" Nicalis's NightSky for WiiWare, also a puzzle-platformer with silhouetted graphics, gradient backgrounds, a serene soundtrack, a ball as the main character, and other similar elements.
Some argued that NightSky's ideas are common in many games, but others like Canabalt developer Adam Saltsman called it an obvious clone: "While there is admittedly a fine line between inspiration/homage and clones/ripoffs, this is CLEARLY the latter. ... Selling level packs based on how much people like someone else's designs is immoral and regrettable." He then called on Mobile Bros. to take down Trundle immediately.
The studio has since done just that, pulling the game from the App Store to change those similarities. "By some form of coincidence, both games decided to use a ball protagonist against shadowy levels; because of this we feel that it would be better to differentiate our character a bit more and try to eliminate any similar level elements from Trundle," Mobile Bros. commented.
The developer says it expects to have Trundle back on the App Store "quite soon." In the meantime, you can play some of Mobile Bros.'s other iPhone releases like Pachingo and Energy Harvest, which look an awful lot like Peggle and Auditorium.