Review for Don't Fall Off (iPhone, iPad, iTouch)
I do like a nice iPhone video game, and the cuter the graphics, the catchier the music, the better. Likewise, something which has that immediate pick-up-and-play mentality, combined with a draw for more, always gets a lot of playtime.
Don't Fall Off is a simple, easy to grasp concept, learning it takes seconds, mastering it may take a frustrating period of time. In the vein of Canabalt, a personal favourite of mine, this is survival against the clock, with a no lives, or continue system.
Let's see what EA Games have delivered thumb gamers this week!
So how does this work then? Basically, you get a little round ball of a character that looks like some sort of a squirrel called Rollie. He is sitting on a paper boat which must be treated to repel water, as it doesn't go all soggy and eventually sink.
You tilt the boat left or right, and he rolls around on it avoiding raindrops, a single hit of which will knock him off into the water and end the game. The longer he stays on, the higher your time, and eventually you'll progress from level to level at each minute mark.
Things start off very easy with paper clips on the boat sides to stop you falling off, that gradually become less and less useful as the game wears on. Oh and you get helpful little tips along the way so instructions aren't needed!
To add a bit of variety at fixed times on each level objects appear that you can tap. The sun blows away the clouds temporarily giving you a little respite and a chance to reposition poor Rollie who is no doubt very sea sick by now. An umbrella gives him temporary protection against the elements, until it magically vanishes, often at the worst possible moment.
There are two options for controlling the boat, and indirectly Rollie, accelerometer and touch, although stupidly the actual selection of them is somewhat misnamed as Novice Mode and Expert Mode. I can honestly say, I found touch much easier than accelerometer after a bit of practise, though if you happen to be drunk you'll definitely find it harder because it requires a bit of reverse thinking.
However this is definitely a preference and not a difficulty option. Grrrr!
Like many in this day and age, I fall into that awful trap of judging a 59p game too harshly. Sure this doesn't have the incredible amount of playtime in it that Cut the Rope or Angry Birds etc have, yet it does strangely have that little addictive quality of Canabalt which makes you want to, every now and again, give it a few minutes blast to see if you can get a good time.
At the time of writing, the top time is 7.25 minutes, I'm not sure I'll ever get that high with my average being between 1 and 2, but then with Canabalt it's quite possible sometime you'll get a rhythm going and survive way longer than you usually do.
It's a shame they haven't implemented Game Center support, perhaps this is a long term plan to allow competition with Android users and that one bloke you know who has a Windows 7 phone. Irritating though, since I do like to see my scores compared to friends rather than total strangers.
This has the usual polish that EA Games titles come with, provides a fun occasional distraction for 59p, and will probably survive on my iPhone for quite a while. Did I say it needs Game Center support? :(
- Cute cartoon graphics
- Funky theme tune
- Supports Retina display
- Supports instant switching (multi-tasking)
- Novice and Expert modes
- No Game Center support
- Control options misnamed Novice and Expert mode