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Axe in Face Review
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Axe In Face, a quirky castle-defense-style game with some odd twists, has been released by Blue Carrot Games and is now available from the app store. With its humorous gameplay, simple graphics, and physics-be-damned line-drawing mechanics, Axe In Face is more than just an overly-aggressive name for a game, but rather a light-hearted, though still bloody, mash-up of genres that makes for a fun pick-up-and-play title.

Axe In Face Pros:

  • Simple, clean graphical presentation
  • Fun defense/line-drawing mashup
  • Pick-up-and-play quality
  • Achievements and medals

Axe In Face Cons:

  • No music during gameplay
  • Lacks endless mode and leaderboards

You play as a fairly clichéd Viking – all beard and little body. However, you have one passion that overrides all rational thought – daffodils. You will do anything and everything to protect your field of flowers from being trampled by the insensitive lunkheads who make every effort to get into your bed (…of flowers, that is). With but an axe, a wicked boomerang-like throwing motion, and nothing to lose, you chuck your lone weapon at the oncoming horde, beheading any and all who are unfortunate enough to bend a blade of grass in your neck of the woods. The opposing forces consist of a nice variety of individuals, including slow-footed strollers, seemingly lost potato-sack racers, pine-tree carrying foes, and shield-wielding warriors who must be taken out from behind.

Firing your axe across the field requires the familiar line-drawing mechanic that has become a staple of the touchscreen devices. The main difference of note is that the axe follows your line regardless of the law of physics that we all adhere to. Squiggly lines and swirling vortexes are effective methods to wipe out large groups of people. When the axe reaches the end of your line, it automatically returns to you to throw once again. As long as the airborne axe crosses paths with a Viking, he’ll be beheaded and stopped in his tracks. As the game progresses, Vikings move faster and in larger numbers, with some inevitably getting past your defenses. There are both lightning and freezing forces that can be used to stop their progression before they reach your flowers. These forces can be replenished by red and blue orbs that are occasionally dropped by the Vikings. Once one enemy does make it through to the flowers, our brave hero breaks down and weeps for his damaged flora, ending the game.

Graphically, the look is very simple, yet sweet. The plain green field takes up most of the screen real estate, with a thin line of yellow daffodils at the left where Red Beard stands at the ready. Vikings enter from the right. The Vikings all bear a resemblance to each other, and the whole thing has a child’s-painting-on-the-fridge quality that we really like. An elevator music track plays on the menu screen, and goofy sound effects occur during gameplay. Drawing lines by dragging your finger is the main control mechanism. We found it very effective, though it took a bit of time to remember to draw the line all the way across the screen. Initiating a lightning or freeze attack, as well as collecting the orbs, requires simple taps on the screen.

Replay value is decent, as perfecting the throwing mechanic can entice you to continue playing. The 32 levels will take some time to complete, though we always feel that a defense-style game is incomplete without offering an infinite mode, as well as global leaderboards to compare your skills against other players. There are achievements to earn in the form of trophies and medals based on the number of axes thrown, so that does give it some additional value. However, without those main gaming elements, any game loses some value. At $0.99, we have no problem recommending that you purchase this 4-Dimple charmer, as we hold out hope for an update that makes this game complete.

Axe in Face Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2010-09-30T00:18:01+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5



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