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Quick Reviews from the Request Desk – 4.29.11
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Welcome to another edition of Quick Reviews. Today, we take a look at a fun golf title, a hot air ballooning adventure, and an arcade game featuring some loveable creatures.

Par Out Golf

Par Out Golf by Endless Wave Software is a cute new line-drawing golf game. Par Out Golf contains both Single and Multiplayer modes. Single Player allows you to play the 2 available courses by yourself, while Multiplayer gives you the option to pass-and-play with up to 4 players or find some competition online, though we were unable to find anyone to play in our testing. Both courses are full 18-hole courses full of sand traps, water hazards, trees, canyon walls, rocks, and out-of-bounds areas. The goal is to trace a path for your ball from the tee to the cup, though you’ll have to do it blind. When you initiate your shot, cloud cover obscures your view of the hole. You then draw a path with your finger, taking into account wind speed/direction and any hazards. Hitting an object typically kills your shot where it is, while putting a ball in the drink or o.b. will result in a penalty. Your success on the hole can earn you badges, with a required number necessary to unlock front, back, and full options on each of the courses. The graphics are decent, with nicely drawn artwork and plenty of elements to require precise line-drawing. The sounds are sparse, but adequate. Controls were responsive and easy to use, although the precision needed near the cup were a little lacking, as our fat fingers didn’t allow us to see how long or short a line we drew on the green. We left a few putts juuuuust short because of this. Replay value is pretty good, despite there only being 2 courses out of the box. There seems like there will always be room for improvement. GameCenter integration allows for a handful of global leaderboards. It’s a fun little diversion and obviously not meant to be a simulation by any means. For $1.99, this 3.5-Dimple universal app is a whimsically fun time.

daWindci

daWindci by Reality Twist is a hot air ballooning adventure where you must create gusts of wind to move a hot air balloon around each level, collecting items, avoiding danger, and reaching the goal as quickly as possible. Each of the 45 levels has a goal time that you must best in order to move to the next. As you move about, you can interact with various aspects of the environment, destroying structures that hide collectable items or activating switches that allow access to other areas in the level. Forests provide a hindrance to your progress, and trees and walls can damage your craft to the point of deflation. The art style is appealing, albeit difficult to truly appreciate due to being so zoomed out. The top-down perspective can also make it difficult to find the floating items to collect, as well as discern the appropriate path to take to the goal. The soundtrack has a new age feel, with dreamy tones and acoustic riffs mixing with sounds of nature, at times. Controls require gestures such as swiping to create wind and drawing circles to create whirlwinds that open doors and destroy environmental items. Learning the proper amount of swiping force to use to take the shortest and quickest routes through the levels will take some practice. Overall, it’s a fun and relaxing journey to enjoy. We didn’t like that the level time and number of collected items were not present on-screen, even if they were accessible by tapping the screen corner and pausing the game. The menu buttons are also a bit confusing, as they are unlabeled. It’s a decent game, but it doesn’t seem to hold a lot of replay value, despite containing a dozen GameCenter achievements. Overpriced at $3.99, this 3-Dimple adventure wasn’t as engaging as we’d hoped.

Dog Pile

Dog Pile from ArtWitz Design and JoshOClock is a Pachinko-style puzzler that involves bouncing dogs through a maze of pegs and other obstacles in an effort to collect dog bones and eliminate the dog pile at the screen bottom by matching similar breeds of dogs. Dogs are fired from the top of the screen, accumulating points as they fall and hit objects, earning multipliers along the way. In some instances, you’ll need to hit a button to release dogs that must be cleared or tap on a boxing glove that punches dogs back into play. Each level is timed and you will fail if you can’t clear the entire dog pile before it runs out. There are only 18 levels spread across 2 worlds, but they are fairly engaging and fun to work through. The second world has a space theme that causes dogs to float around the screen top before getting tossed into the mix, requiring you to line up your shot with a moving canine for an extra challenge. The graphics are cutesy, with dogs appearing as little more than a large round head. Level design is decent, with plenty of platforms and other items that impact the direction of your dogs. Each dog type is easily discerned from the others, too. The soundtrack is cheery and light, and the controls require little more than dragging from the dog toward the target area and releasing. As mentioned, you can tap boxing gloves or use tilt to influence the dog’s direction in a minor way. Replay value is fairly low, unless you want to grab any bones that you missed the first time through. There is no social gaming aspect yet, but GameCenter should be added in an update. For $0.99, it’s a worthwhile 3.5-Dimple game provided that more levels are added periodically to keep the gameplay fresh.

Has anyone tried any of these games? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.





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