A friend on Twitter brought Shipwrek to my attention, an application developed by Candy Cane in Estonia. It is a game with a simple goal. There are two docks: one yellow and one red, the player has to guide the corresponding coloured boats to the correctly coloured dock by drawing course lines on the screen for the boats. When the boats reach the appropriate spot at the dock it will load/unload their cargo. Some boats move faster than others and the trick is not to let any of them collide, if they do the game is over. It is almost like air traffic controller for the sea.

I showed this game to two 6 years old and they picked up the game with just a simple explanation of the goals.

If you're looking for a game to occupy your time while waiting in line at the post office or the bus, this is definitely the one to get. Especially when the developer is asking for our favorite price of "FREE" in the iTunes App Store.

Shipwrek - Screen2Shipwrek - Screen1

Categoriesiphone, review

EatWillGrow Game ScreenEatWillGrow is another one of those retro arcade style game with a twist. The goal of the game is simple as with others games of this genre. You have a little green ball figure; with a smily face, that you manipulate on the screen collecting different sizes balls, while trying to avoid land mines; diamond shapes with red dot, if touch that will be game over.

The balls you collect come in different sizes and they flow down the screen in various patterns. I wish these patterns are random but they are the same each time. Mixed in the field of balls are bonus balls. Some of these balls when captured can slow down the game offering you a moment of rest, and others will speed up the game so that it can be even more challenging.

If that is all EatWillGrow does, it will be no different than the many cheap games on the NDS, fortunately there is more. How can an iPhone game, with any salt, be sucessful without using some of the native capabilities of the iPhone?

In the game you can choose to use the Steve Jobs stylus (your finger) to manipulate the little green ball figure around the screen, but that will be too lame even for the iPhone. So the devloper offers the player the option to use the iPhone's built in accelerometer for manipulating the little green ball figure.

To move the little green ball figure around the screen, you can tilt the iPhone in the direction you like the green ball figure to move. But I find this analogy a bit hard to get use to, as it is more natural to have the opposite behaviour. Although after several sessions or after reading my instructions here you will start to get use to this behaviour

EatWillGrow Send Score to Twitter

This is not enough for the developer. He also implemented a viral marketing element into the game by allowing each player to tweet his score onto Twitter.

As with any retro arcade style game, like Sticky Licky that I reviewed in April, the ultimate goal for the player is to get onto the top of the players ladder board. Again the developer took a different approach by comparing the player's score with others on the Twitter network, and then announce to everyone on the network how many more points the player needs to move up the ladder board.

All these approaches serve to promote the competiveness of the game and to convert each player into a marketer for the game every time the game is played. For this, I say the developer Kode80 is brilliant!

In conclusion this little game is well worth the USD0.99 the developer is asking for in iTunes App Store.

Categoriesiphone, review

Sticky LickyFrom the folks at Vision Wise Inc. comes a game called Sticky Licky. It is as addictive as any of the old arcade genre games you spent hundreds of quarters playing at the arcade parlor in the 80's.

What it reminds me of is the old "Space Invaders" game. Of course, with much better looking graphics, even though Sticky chose to adapt the hand drawn simplicity style graphics.

Sticky is simple enough to play, even if you do not want to drill into its, built in multi pages, instructions. All you need is to arm yourself with the knowledge that clicking on the toad will extend its long tongue to draw insets into its mouth. Eating different types of bugs will score different points, and the goal is to get as high of a score as possible to reach the next level in the game. Sticky also takes advantage of the iPhone accelerometer for its game play. Titling the iPhone to the right will cause the head of the toad to look to the right, and tilting the iPhone to the left will cause the toad to look to the left.

Sticky Licky Level

There is even an arcade style ladder board to compare your score with the scores among the players who played on your iPhone.

If you achieved the highest score on your iPhone's ladder board and you like the humiliation, then with a click of a button in the ladder board, you can compare your score and ranking among the players in the online ladder board.

Not sure how many levels are there in the game, but I reached Level 7 with my high score, and at the time of writing I see a person at the top of the online ladder board who reached Level 19 with a score of over 1.6 million.

If you take some time to read the instructions you will find tips and tricks to gain higher scores allowing you to move up on your local ladder board and may even challenge the standings of the leaders on the online ladder board.

This is not only a great time killer, but also a fun and additive game. Well worth the USD1.99 that Vision Wise is asking for on the iTunes App Store.

Categoriesiphone, review