iOS games tend to be level-based affairs. While there are plenty of games that do not follow this model many of those topping the charts (in downloads) do. Angry Birds does, Rovio’s latest Amazing Alex almost certainly does, as do the two nearly identical games from Disney; Where’s My Perry and Where’s My Water. Some games do this well and others do not.
Project 83113 (above) is a fun little (currently free) game from NCSoft. This is a game that does not do the three-star system very well. The first problem is that even after making my way through world 1 I’m not 100% sure what needs to be done to earn a full three. From what I can tell the first star is obtained by completing a level, simple enough. The second you get if you’re able to finish a mission without taking a single hit, which is pretty annoying. The third is won if you find a hidden object, I think. I’m not real sure…
Obviously the biggest issue here is the lack of sense that NCSoft’s game makes. (That minor issue aside the game is well done and pretty fun. It also stars a weird six armed cat-like-thing.)
On the flip-side is a game–franchise now–I’ve mentioned at least twice before; Squids and the follow up title Squids Wild West.
At a level’s end in both the first Squids and its sequel the player is shown just what stars (if any) have been earned. The first is given out if you are able to avoid losing a single member of your team of four, the second by finding a hidden starfish, and the third by staying under the level’s par. At no point in either game does this become bothersome and force multiple level resets due to something as trivial as being damaged even once. Being a tactical type of game (not a twitch run-and-gunner like Project 83113) the only thing to blame for not earning all three is oneself.
I can’t speak highly enough about The Game Bakers two Squids games. They work perfectly for the device they’re on and I really do hope the developers make something for the PC sooner or later.
Watch the trailer for Squids Wild West below.
Next week I’m going to talk pros and cons about the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Some of you might be considering buying one and I’ll do what I can to help you decide which is best… for games!