Slide to Unlock: Issue 10

All Issues

It’s Sunday, so it’s time for some more App reviews. This week we’re going from castle defence StickWars to party-game Spin the Coke. No, I still haven’t found my iPod. Someone hold me. Reviews from Alec H and Robert W.

StickWars / 59p

There are only a few games that are available on the App store that take simplicity and make something brilliant out of it. StickWars is one such game. The basis of the game is such that all you need to do defend your castle which is pretty much what every other game on the App store is nowadays. But what the game is isn’t why it stands out from the crowd, it’s the way in which it plays that makes it for me.

You are set up with a large wall which represents your castle; from here the rest of the screen is a plain field that changes over the course of the game through different seasons (i.e. Rainy, Sunny and Snowing). Upon this field is where the action takes place. Over the levels, waves of enemies will attempt to breach your wall to take the castle. Your only means of defence is your finger; you need to wipe your finger upwards on each enemy soldier in an attempt to kill them. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, as with most things there are tricks to it and StickWars is no exception. As well as defending your castle, you need to try and get the best score you can. This can be done by chaining kills together to increase your score multiplier, dropping your swarming target on top of his brothering and if it is from a great enough height then you can kill both at the same time.

The reason for the need to power up your score is that your score is the game’s money system and you need that to improve your castle’s defends. You can bolster it with improved walls and if your wall has taken damage then you can spend a bit of money to repair it. In addition you can build extra buildings to compliment your flicking skills such as a wizard school and a bomb factory, but there is a catch to use these buildings: you need to capture enemy soldiers and use them as your army. Capturing a soldier takes about ten seconds to do and when you first buy the prison to capture them in you are only able to collect one at a time. Thus making it a little harder to start your army.

StickWars is a simple but effective game, with some nice ideas behind it and a bit of a new take on the castle defence scenario. That said, there isn’t much variety with the game. You have to just keep defeating wave after wave and while there is the nice addition of capturing and using the enemy soldiers for your purpose it’s still a very tiresome game after a few rounds. AH.


Spin the Coke / Free

I downloaded this one a while back, thinking I’d delete it pretty quickly. Not the case. If you have the occasional drinking game using a small table, you may understand how difficult it is to stop a certain bottle from falling off and smashing. Not that this has happened to me at any time, but Spin the Coke definitely alleviates that problem should it ever become a possibility.

It’s a very simple concept: spin a Coke bottle. But if you thought that was the limitation of the app, then you’re severely wrong. No, not only can you spin a bottle without it falling off any given surface, you can avoid the arguments between whom the bottle is pointing to once it’s stopped its rotations. Spin the Coke merges with Facebook, and can list up to six of your friends’ faces around a digital board. The iPod will then decide which face it is pointing closest to when it lands.

If you’re not much of the party-gaming type, this app probably isn’t for you, and honestly will only fill a proportionately small audience. Apart from changing the bottle design and background design, there’s little much else to this app. However, it does the job perfectly, starts up quickly, and I can fairly say that after proof-testing it on a number of occasions, it can be better than the real thing. RW.