Slide to Unlock: Issue 11

More mobile madness.

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It’s Sunday! Ruddy Sunday! Time to whip out your SixthAxis box and shove in your happy chord. This week we’re joined by E4 and X Factor voiceover man, Peter “Tellyhole” Dickson, with a bit of crap and cats to round off the issue. We might be making changes as of next week, after some interesting suggestions in last week’s comments. This week’s reviews by Alec H and Rob W.

Crap of Defence / £2.99

Crap of Defence is a tower defence game based around you being a singular tank on a battlefield. The idea is to stop the oncoming hordes (like any other tower defence game) but this isn’t the reason why I quite enjoyed Crap of Defence.

The reason was the way in which the game plays. Of course, being on an ‘i’ brand device the controls are performed by touching the screen, as always. So touching on the screen starts to charge up your power bar for your shot, the red power bar has a line that you need to pass to be able to fire. Once into the green you are able to change the power of the shot to your heart’s desire, going from small shell explosions to small nuke-like explosions. Each type of explosion does different damage to the soldiers parading across the field, of course, (The damage done to them is shown via the soldier going increasingly more transparent) with some attacks scattering the soldiers to the winds while others just kill a few souls.

In addition to the standard attacks, you have power-ups that work in two ways off the field and on the field. Some power-ups add more power to your tank. For example, all shots fired are full power without needing to charge the power bar, or maybe you fire special shots that release three shells instead of the standard one. The other type of power-up works solely in the field, these are items like mines that can be tapped to be set off as the soldiers pass them. There are also power-ups to release a missile barrage on the field at set points to add more destruction to the world.

The whole game is designed in a style of what can only be described as pieces of paper; all the soldiers and explosions are shown in this style. This actually works quite nicely as it feels like a doodled game on an exercise book. You are also set goals that allow you to pass each mission, most will involve killing a certain amount of enemies and making sure that you don’t let a set number past you.

The game as a whole is not too bad, but the price does make it a little too steep for what you get. This game is definitely only for those who really enjoy tower defence games, as there are plenty of games out there that do the same thing and at a fraction of the price. AH.

5/10

Simon’s Cat in ‘Purrfect Pitch’ / £1.19

If you know what Simon’s Cat is, you’ll already be interested in this. If not, you’ve probably clicked on the link and already fallen in love. When I first saw the cartoon on the iTunes Store, I immediately paid the extortionate amount of money towards the cat without looking into what it was about. The game comprises of three main parts, ‘Challenge’, ‘Free Play’ and ‘Playback’.

Challenge is pretty much the only thing you will use here. Simon’s cat will sing you a watered down version of a children’s nursery rhyme, and you have to make him meow it again using the mini keyboard at the bottom of the screen. Sounds fun. Plays like a dream. That is, if your dream is full of dead cats being ran over by a truck load of infected demon parrot babies, while having their ears shoved in a mangle and twisted until they bleed pain. Yes, ‘challenge’ means ‘challenge’, and if you haven’t figured it out already, you may as well not bother. On meowing the song back to Simon’s Cat, you’ll want to go very very slowly on the keys. Get one note wrong, and it’s back to the beginning. The cat, once thought of as cute and cuddly will now become a nightmarish déjà vu, singing the song repeatedly until you get it right. And the songs are long. Get the last note wrong, and it’s another few minutes of listening to extended kiddies songs before you’re back where you were. It’s torture.

So once you’re bored out of your skull with playing on a tiny keyboard, why not try out the ‘Free Play’ section? Hours of fun! … with the same keyboard. Add an extra slap in the face, and listen back to the cat screeching using the ‘Playback’ feature. Yep. Once you’re past / If you get past the Challenge, you’ll want to delete the app.

Simon’s Cat may be a good laugh when watching him on online cartoons or in the comic strips released in books, but there’s no humour here to keep the bland gameplay alive. Avoid, unless like me, you saw this app and already downloaded it. I feel your pain. Good luck. RW.

3/10

Peter Dickson (VoiceOver Man) Pocket Announcer / £1.19

“Turn on your touchy-box, it’s time to fondle my ruddy shininess!” What do you get when you bundle the E4 and X Factor voiceover man with a soundboard and an interactive script-maker? “Touch me! Joanna! Come on down!” You get the Pocket Announcer. Hundreds of pre-recorded words available straight away, you’re free to produce fully customised, personalised sentences from the voiceover guy himself, save them for later and even share on Facebook and Twitter. Ringtones too.

When I first heard that premise, I died. When I came back to life, I downloaded the app and spent the next week typing in sentences and playing them back to people for giggles. While you might not be able to simply type sentences, the list of words to chose from is immense, and putting together a sentence is actually easier than you would think. You can play back any word or the whole sentence at any point, and remove single words, replace or add words at any point throughout.

So what else is there after all of that? Prank calls anyone? Yes, the app comes filled with pre-written sentences specifically for prank calls, and can make for a rather hilarious call to anyone of your choosing. It’s not so great for those on iPhone, as you can’t run the app and your phone at the same time. Nevertheless, any other phone will do, and if you’re actually up for doing it, you’ve probably done something similar before and know how to make the most of it.

When I last used the app, there was no facebook or twitter inclusion, and the interactive soundboard still had me coming back for more. Now, with the promise of sharing funny personalised phrases with your friends, you’re certain to spend longer on this that I did. If you love the voiceover guy as much as I do, then you’ll love this too.

8/10

*Prices correct as of 23rd May 2010.

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