I’m going to come straight out and say it: this feature is largely – if not entirely – inspired by Strip the Difference, which I reviewed yesterday and gave a generous 0/5. Sadly we don’t do negative scores.
Strip the Difference got me thinking about other terrible games, and how they’re all bad in their own way. There are oh so many ways to make a crap iOS game. Here, in no particular order, are five of the most effective that spring to mind.
1. Appeal to the lowest common denominator
Guilty: Strip the Difference
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no prude. Far from it. Boobs, bums, c u next Tuesday. But there’s something about Strip the Difference that just defies belief, particularly the idea that someone might be so desperate to see a cartoon girl in her underwear that he – or indeed she – would pay money for an add-on called the Dirty Girls Pack. Incredible.
As a game, Strip the Difference is completely functional. The touchscreen responds as it should, the menus work, and it doesn’t crash. I guess that’s enough to get through Apple’s supposedly strict vetting process. And hell, there might even be a few bucks in it for Apple if people are tempted by those Dirty Girls.
I should probably point out that the App is rated 12+, as it contains infrequent/mild:
- Sexual Content or Nudity
- Profanity or Crude Humour
- Mature/Suggestive Themes
That’s quite the trifecta. Kudos, Strip the Difference.
2. Rip off Angry Birds
Guilty: Block Shooter
Ok, this sin isn’t particularly bad, ‘cause some Angry Birds clones are actually pretty good. Bunny Shooter and Robot Story spring to mind, for example. But even the good ones are tainted with a this-isn’t-quite-Angry-Birds taste, a bit like watching a so-so Queen cover band.
Block Shooter, for some reason, stands out in my mind as one “physics based puzzler” that was just a bit meh. There are hardly any levels, and it costs 69p – the same as Angry Birds. Hmm.
Guilty: Racer Hunter
Now admittedly I was playing Racer Hunter on a second generation iPod Touch, but my trusty iDevice has handled far more demanding games in its time. There’s no excuse for something like Racer Hunter – one of the most basic, incomplete games I’ve ever played – failing to acknowledge a touch of the screen for several seconds at a time. The unresponsive controls rendered Racer Hunter, a time-critical action game, unplayable.
Having said that, there is something quite endearing about how hilariously bad Racer Hunter is.
Guilty: Galaxy Defender
Galaxy Defender really got my goat for some reason, and set a Mobot record with its Pros and Cons. Traditionally we go for three and three, but Galaxy Defender demanded an unprecedented one and six formation.
The controls in particular really irked me. Galaxy Defender is a game in which you shoot alien craft as they appear from the top of the screen, and there’s no fire button. Seriously. Instead, a laser is automatically fired every time you let go of the direction button. Sigh.
Guilty: Prize Claw
Prize Claw wasn’t particularly terrible, but after a short while I began to question why I was playing it (er, other than my review-based obligations). That’s not a good sign.
In Prize Claw, you grab prizes from one of those claw machines, and build up experience and cash to soup-up your machine. But why, Prize Claw, why? Why would I want a souped-up prize-grabbing machine?