Everyone wants a slice of the gooey and succulent Angry Birds pie these days, and there's no doubt that Rovio's catapulting success story has influenced this latest effort. Fun With Death is certainly a catapult-em-up at its core... but after a few levels, several imaginative tweaks to the familiar formula will cast your furious featured friends firmly out of your mind.
Players take the role of the Grim Reaper who's having an absolute mare of a day at the office. Good and evil souls have gotten themselves mixed up all over limbo, and it's up to Death himself to fling demons at the bad eggs to knock them down to hell. Using a great big catapult, naturally.
Angry Birds comparisons are inevitable. Each demon offers different characteristics and abilities depending on their colour - and do different things when they detonate. The drag and release interface is also largely unchanged, though it's much less responsive than you might expect and can lead to some aggravating scuffed shots.
However, you'll need to use your head much more often than a steady finger. Only the evil red souls need to be hit, whilst the good blue souls must remain unharmed and intact. You'll need to think twice before pulling the trigger.
The major new addition to the formula are placeable geometric scenery objects such as ramps, balls and bombs. Players can use these elements to create enormous 'Mousetrap'-style courses through which to roll their demons; creating barriers and tactically directing where they want their shot to end up. Not only that, but interactive physics objects such as hammers, pivots and levers make the solution to each puzzle much more than just getting the your shot on target.
This is an entirely new and unexpected dimension to the otherwise familiar formula, and it works brilliantly well.
Fun With Death is as colourful, cute and visually quirky as you'd expect from this type of app. However, the HD version offers barely any difference over the standard edition, so I'd highly recommend getting the SD one instead. Which is currently free, by the way.
Oh, and 60 levels is a mean amount of value compared to most apps... but pales in comparison to the likes of Trucks 'n Skulls and, you know, that game with the egg-stealing pigs.
Personally, I actually prefer Fun With Death to Angry Birds. By all means let the flaming begin, but with the addition of its new features, I actually found solving each level much more rewarding.
- Clever core action
- Building courses and ramps is a lot of fun
- More innovation than you'd expect
- Patchy touchscreen controls
- A lot of levels, but less than its peers
- HD version isn't worth the money
Summary: Fun With Death is a solid, cerebral and attractive app that provides serious value. By innovating on the core concept, it's not a merely clone of Angry Birds. It's an alternative.
Developer: Tornado Studios
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: (Currently) Free - App Store