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Quick Reviews from the Request Desk – 5.4.11
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This edition of Quick Reviews features a mini-golf game, a mini-physics game, and a collection of mini-games. Enjoy!

Gatsby’s Golf

Gatsby’s Golf by Inane Games is a simple miniature golf game with an old time feel and few bells and whistles. There is a Quick Play mode that allows you to play 6 random holes, a Classic mode that takes you through the full 18, and a practice mode where you can choose any hole to hone your skills. You can get an overhead view of each hole, but it’s pretty zoomed out and difficult to see. The normal view can make it difficult to see much of the course, too. Aiming requires swiping the screen to line up the arrow. Holding the ball symbol fills a power gauge and releasing strikes the ball. The sensitivity by default is way too high, with a tiny gauge amount resulting in a fairly powerful shot that covers the equivalent of several yards, making close and finesse shots fairly difficult. There are also instances where swiping too close to the ball symbol will accidentally initiate a shot accidentally. A few holes are also placed on inclines, which means you have to be perfect to get it in or take shot after shot after shot until you do. There is only the single course to play, so it gets a little too familiar too quickly. The graphics are mediocre and the audio is ok for a while, but it can get annoying after extended play. GameCenter leaderboards offer a modicum of replay value, but not enough to keep the game interesting. At $0.99, Gatsby’s Golf is a 3-Dimple offering in its current state.

Nano Panda

Nano Panda by Unit9 is a clever physics puzzler with a cheerful soundtrack and equally adorable tiny panda bears. There are over 60 levels of play, where the goal is to fire the pandas out of cannons in an effort to capture the atoms. All atoms must be grabbed to move on to the next level. Three stars are placed in each level, too, and collecting stars unlocks future worlds for continued play. The cannons that fire the pandas are fixed, so the only way to alter the path of the pandas is to fire pandas from multiple cannons. The pandas have a magnetic attraction to each other which will direct the course of their flight. Each level has some type of obstacle that the pandas must avoid, and many of the walls are lined with spikes that can kill the pandas on contact. Fortunately, you don’t need all of your pandas to survive to succeed. It’s a lot of fun discovering how to influence the pandas in the desired directions and when to shoot each cannon. The physics are pretty good and the graphics create a fun atmosphere. Controls are tap-based and responsive, and the soundtrack is mesmerizingly upbeat. GameCenter integration provides nearly a dozen achievements, adding to the replay value already provided by star chasing. At $0.99 for a universal app, Nano Panda is a 4.5-Dimple charmer.

Noty & Moky

Noty & Moky from Erawppa is a series of 50 mini-games that illustrate the devious interactions between two monkeys, our title characters. You’ll need to interact with your iDevice in just about every way imaginable to complete the games successfully, including blowing, swiping, tapping, shaking, tilting, and more. The graphics are highly cartoonish and the monkey antics are fairly entertaining, but the depth and length of gameplay certainly leaves something to be desired. Before each game, you are given a visual as to how to interact for the given game, which is helpful but not always crystal clear. A series of tutorial screens also walk you through how to handle the necessary movements. The sound is decent and the controls seem to work well when you get them right. It’s hard to imagine this title entertaining anyone but young kids for more than a couple of minutes. A universal app at $1.99, Noty & Moky is a 3-Dimple timewaster.

Has anyone else tried these games? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.

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