Greedy Dwarf, a level-based tunnel runner from Crescent Moon Games, is now available from the app store. Featuring fiery graphics, quick gameplay, and a hybrid of behind-the-back and 2D-sidescrolling action, Greedy Dwarf looks the part but doesn’t really offer a compelling experience.
Greedy Dwarf Pros:
- Cool underground environment and interesting level design
- Controls are easy to use
- Switches between behind-the-back and 2D side-scroller
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements to earn
Greedy Dwarf Cons:
- Difficult to judge 3D positioning
- Sound effects not up to snuff
- Gameplay is repetitive and doesn’t compel us to keep playing
Greedy Dwarf provides 32 levels in which your main character barrels down a 360-degree tunnel in a minecart, attempting to collect 35 pieces of gold and any available rockets while avoiding the sections of bubbling magma on your way to the end point. You control the minecart by dragging your finger back-and-forth on the screen, directing the dwarf toward gold and thin rocky pathways that cut through the fiery muck. Tapping a second finger on screen will cause the cart to jump a short distance. At some point in most levels, the perspective will even shift from a behind-the-back Temple Run-style to a 2D side-scroller and back again. We actually found that the 2D viewpoint offered better control over your run despite its less interesting visuals. We found it very difficult to judge properly the correct spot to jump in order to snatch airborne rockets and gold, as well as where to move the fast-moving cart to find the right path. The paths were also very easy to slide off of, ending your run prematurely. There was a lot of trial-and-error, forcing us to memorize the right moves to make progress little by little. Upon completing a level, you are rewarded with medals based on how much gold or how many rockets you grabbed along the way. The whole experience is fairly short and after playing through the first dozen levels, our interest waned as there wasn’t anything new that wasn’t presented in the first couple levels.
Graphically, the visual style is very pleasing, providing a nice level of polish and a great sense of heat and danger. The level design is pretty good, forcing you upside down from time to time and making slight miscues lead to unfavorable results. The perspective switch is kind of fun, but even that feels a little gimmicky. The sense of speed is good, and we encountered no slowdowns. The soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired, as the music is minimal and the sound effects are fairly sparse, too. Controls allow you to drag or tap screen sides to move the cart around, while two fingers on-screen allow you to jump. The cart movement speed was actually a bit on the slow side, so if we didn’t anticipate some of the bigger direction changes early enough, we wouldn’t be fast enough to get to the gold before we whizzed by. The controls were responsive, just not sensitive enough.
Replay value comes from attempting to earn gold for both nuggets and rockets on each level. GameCenter also provides a global leaderboard and a couple dozen achievements. A universal app for $0.99, Greedy Dwarf is a lackluster 3-Dimple game.
Greedy Dwarf Review,