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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review: Split Apple HD (universal binary) by MKO Games

    Split Apple, by MKO Games (universal binary)
    $2.99, ***1/2


    • Fun concept
    • Nice graphics

    • No difficulty settings
    • Controls are very difficult
    • No multiplayer

    Split Apple is an archery game where you match your archery skills in one of four trials. In appearance, the game is similar to the Wii game from Wii Sports Resort. You have four modes of game play – challenge, time trial, pop up, and survival. There is also a practice mode. Each of the modes offers a different kind of game play.

    In challenge mode, you are given three shots to shoot a variety of targets (still, moving, and moving behind barriers) at various distances. This is the simplest game play mode, as you progressively move from easier to harder targets, and you simply try to rack up the score. In time trial mode, you are shooting against a clock. You try to shoot as many arrows as you can within the time period (one minute) racking up as high a score as possible. In survival mode, you have a limited number of arrows, but if you shoot well, you get additional arrows added to your quiver. So you can “survive” as long as you shoot well. Lastly, in pop-up mode, the targets pop up (or hide) and so you have a limited amount of time to shoot as each one.

    The practice of shooting is pretty straight forward. You tap the icon, draw it down (like drawing a bow) and release when you want to shoot. Moving the iPhone or iPad around after you tap and hold the icon (or while you draw it down) moves your point of view. But you can’t hold the box taught forever. If you want to long, you point of view stars to move around (and become harder to control) and your close up view starts to vanish as well. Luckily, if you find yourself tiring like that, you can loosen the bow (now release it) to start over.

    The graphics are really nice in this game. The HD version on the iPhone (which I was mostly playing) and on the iPad look great – the arrows fly through the air, and vibrate when they hit the target. I did find playing on the iPhone a little easier (and you have to move the device around) but the iPad version was still manageable.

    My biggest complaint about playing the game was the difficulty in aiming. Now, I completely understand that you don’t want to make it TOO easy to get a straight shot, but at the same time I felt like there was no consistency when I was targeting the bulls-eye. Sometimes I would barely move, but my field of vision was moving a lot. Sometimes despite moving a lot, the target hardly moved at all. I don’t know if I simply wasn’t “getting it”, but it was certainly not an easy task. To that end, I would like to see a difficulty setting – maybe have an easy, medium, hard setting that would influence how easy it is to target and how quickly you get tired. This would be especially great for young kids (my daughter tried it but gave up because she couldn’t do the aiming at all).

    I was also disappointed that there wasn’t a multiplayer option. Now, I certainly don’t advocate shooting at other people, but a pass the iPhone/iPad kind of multiplayer would be great in this game! Why only compete against yourself? I did have an occasional graphical glitch (one time I was aiming and suddenly a big yellow car appeared in my field of view) but it didn’t happen frequently, so I figured it was just a small bug.

    All in all, this was a fun app that is visually appealing, and relatively fun to play. I was disappointed by the difficulty in aiming the target at time, but I still enjoyed playing the game. As a universal binary, I found the iPhone version more enjoyable, but the iPad version was only slightly less playable (please note, the pictures below are from the iPhone version of the game). At $2.99, the app is reasonably priced, especially if they keep coming out with update (like maybe a multiplayer option!). After some debate, I decided to give this app three and a half out of five stars (instead of four out of five) due to the difficulty in aiming and the lack of a difficulty setting.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.

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