It’s time for our weekly digest of tiny iPhone reviews, courtesy of iPhoneTiny.com, with some extra commentary exclusive to Cult of Mac.
This time, we review Amazing Animals: Savanna, Battle Bears: Zombies!, Creepy Caverns, Easy Checklist, Find in Page, Flaboo!, Truckers Delight, Tune Runner, and War Chess (iPad).
APP OF THE WEEK
Truckers Delight: Retro-styled racer. Plays like Pole Position crossed w/ Chase HQ. Lacks depth, but great fun. 4/5 $2.99 http://is.gd/ciQ5y
Amazing Animals: Savanna: Decidedly unamazing and somewhat limited prod-based animal game for young kids. 2/5 $1.99 http://is.gd/chxLq
Battle Bears: Zombies!: Survival shooter. Absurd story & great cut scenes but dull, repetitive gameplay. 2/5 $1.99 http://is.gd/cda9r
Creepy Caverns: Pedestrian platform game with bouncing main character, saved somewhat by old-school charm. 2/5 $0.99 http://is.gd/cercF
Easy Checklist: Bare-bones task list with user-defined categories. Overpriced compared to apps like Simple2Do. 2/5 $1.99 http://is.gd/cfTED
Find in Page: Decent in-page find ‘bookmarklet’ for Safari. Uses overlay for next/prev/info controls. 3/5 $1.99 http://is.gd/cfTbh
Flaboo!: Engaging & fun (if regularly irritating and sometimes uncontrollable) vertical platform game. 3/5 $0.99 http://is.gd/cer8o
Tune Runner: Cute rhythm action game that lacks rhythm & has little action. Music doesn’t seem to affect game. 2/5 Free http://is.gd/cda3b
War Chess (iPad): Your choice of ugly, clunky 3D chess or ugly, clunky 2D chess. 1/5 Free http://bit.ly/cuvdq9
One of the hallmarks of many iPhone OS games is repetition. Although games with depth do exist for the platform, more are akin to early 1980s arcade games, offering simple gameplay mechanics that you master to get a high score. Get this right and you end up with an engaging game—a Defender or a Pac-Man. Get it wrong and you end up with people wondering why they’re wasting their time.
Two titles this month rather sum up this gap. Truckers Delight is an arcade racer based on the vulgar and very much NSFW video of the same name. The game removes the smut and shoves the main characters from the video into a game reminiscent of Pole Position mixed with Chase HQ. There’s not a great deal of depth, but it’s fun, full of character, and always worth launching to try and beat your high score.
By contrast, Battle Bears is gloriously bonkers, but nonetheless soon had me wondering what the point of it all was. It’s a tap shooter, with a storyline that has a grizzled soldier teddy bear fending off attacks from what appear to be crazed rejects from the Teletubbies. The cut scenes are great fun, but the gameplay isn’t, and after dispatching wave after wave of cute zombie-like critters, I was bored to tears.