The latest installment of Quick Reviews looks at a prehistoric archery game, a space-aged tank battle, and a clever card game.
Arno The Hunter
Arno The Hunter is a quirky little archery-style high score game from Jonathan Kreuzer and Khang Le. You control Arno by tilting the device, sending him rolling left or right as enemies fly overhead and release fiery droppings or bombs. Tapping the enemies causes Arno to unleash a volley of arrows upon the winged creatures in an effort to rack up high scores and climb the leaderboards. There are only 3 levels in which to compete, with boss battles thrown in every so often. Bosses require you to hit specific spots multiple times to defeat them. There are 5 available weapons to use, each with its own properties that make one better than another against certain enemies. You gain ammo for these weapons by snagging orbs dropped by defeated enemies. Switching weapons is as easy as tapping the icons along the left side of the screen. A multiplier builds with each successive strike, leading to huge point totals if you are accurate. Gameplay can get quite frantic, as you’ll spend a lot of time avoiding enemy fire while trying to shoot down the opposition. You’ll need to anticipate where they will be when the weapon reaches them, not where they are when you shoot. The graphics are crisp and look great, featuring animations that bring the world alive. The soundtrack is very nice, too, and the controls were pretty spot-on. Replay value comes in the form of global leaderboards and trophies, but not through one of the popular social gaming platforms. At $0.99, Arno The Hunter is a 4-Dimple diversion and a neat pick-up-and-play option.
iDaTank is a fun little tank battle game from Pavel Tsarev. Set on a series of 3D planets, iDaTank tasks you with harvesting the planet’s various resources while defending yourself against a number of unrelenting enemies. There are 5 planet clusters with about 5 planets in each, with unique terrains and enemies to boot. You need to collect enough of the blue crystals to power the portal that takes you to the next planet. Points are earned for killing enemies and grabbing items that they drop, as well as grabbing crystals. At various times, you earn perks and spend points that allow you to upgrade various aspects of your tank, as well as the weapons you use to dispatch those that mean youarm. Movements are controlled via an invisible joypad of sorts. Placing your thumb on the screen will create a centerpoint, and dragging in any direction from there will cause the tank to move the same way. Your tank autoaims and autofires upon enemies when they are within range. There is a constant battle to keep enemies from getting too close, as it diminishes your health and leaves you unable to actually shoot them. The 3D graphics are pleasant and the audio is good, too. The controls are a little confusing and difficult to get used to, but once you get the hang of them, it’s not too bad. The purchase system is also a little tricky, as there is no confirmation before buying. Tap too fast and your points are gone. In all, it quite fun and it does make you want to keep playing to see what comes next. At $0.99 for a universal build, iDaTank is a neat 4-Dimple offering.
Reiner Knizia’s Modern Art: The Card Game
Reiner Knizia’s Modern Art: The Card Game is the latest Dr. Knizia title brought to iOS by Skotos Tech. It should be noted that this is not the popular auction-based version of the game, but a somewhat simpler yet still compelling option for the cerebral player. Playing against 2 or 3 opponents, each person takes turns laying down a card from a deck containing 5 “suits” from 5 different artists. Play continues until one artist has been played 6 times, at which point the round ends. The top three most played artists earn 3, 2, or 1 points for each instance that a player plays them. The two lowest-ranking artists are worth no points. Artist values carry over from one round to the next, and you keep unplayed cards from round to round. At each round’s conclusion, each player has the option to play an additional card for each artist that they played during that round. Additionally, some cards have symbols that allow you to draw additional cards from the deck, play another card face-up or face-down, and even add value to any chosen artist’s cards. The player with the most points at the end is declared the winner. It sounds a bit confusing up front, but like most Dr. Knizia titles, it becomes second nature after just a round or two. The graphics are passable, the sound is minimal, and the controls are fairly simple to use. As usual, there is a great deal of strategy involved in determining which cards to play and when. We enjoyed this game a lot and can see it fitting in nicely with our other Dr. Knizia titles. A universal build at $2.99, Modern Art is a 4-Dimple stud.
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