When I first saw the screen shots for Watermelon I thought to myself “I HAVE to try that game!” Turns out I was right. Watermelon is probably one of the most bizarre games I’ve played on my iPod Touch to date, and it’s also one of the most amusing. The game looks and sounds like a modern NES game, the character and concept are straight out of Shrek, and the action is fast, furious and addictive. In short, you should want this game too.
You are something that can only be described as the illegitimate brother of the gingerbread man, and your job is to defend the Earth from hordes of attacking alien robots. To do this you must chuck watermelon peels at them and send them back to the moon, which is apparently where they came from? At this point I’m sure you think I’m making this up. Believe me, in some ways I wish I was. This is one of those games where you saw the screen shots in the back of one of your video game magazines, decided it was too weird to bother with, and then years later regretted not playing as you dig up review after review on the internet with nothing but positive things to say about the game.
The game has 12 levels, and each level is comprised of multiple sections. The aliens appear at the back of the screen facing you, and your character is in the foreground facing the aliens. You tilt the device to move your character left and right and press anywhere on the screen except the pause button to throw a watermelon peel. Ideally you want to hit the robots with the peels, but if you time it right you can get them to slip on the peels as well, which will also hurt them. Don’t expect to take them down without a fight, however.
The aliens come in several different shapes and sizes, and each one has a unique method of attack. You have a health bar that goes down every time you get hit by one of the aliens’ projectiles, and when the bar is empty your game is over. Thankfully you get the option to pick up at the beginning of the last level you played (minus your score, of course). There is one alien that blows you heart kisses instead of bullets, and catching those hearts allows you to regain some of your health. The game has no power ups to speak of, and it honestly doesn’t really need it.
The graphics are simple in the sense that they lack fine details, but they still look really good. The characters are all well animated, and the special effects when an alien preps to attack you are pretty sweet. The main character is hysterical. After he throws a watermelon peel he’ll turn towards you and chatter his mouth (I’m not sure he has any teeth) in anticipation of hitting something. When he sends an alien to the moon he’ll turn towards you with a big grin on his face and giggle. Tears will even stream down his eyes when he finally loses all his life, which would be a lot sadder if he weren’t so silly looking in the first place.
The sound effects are great. From the popping noise when you toss a watermelon peel to the smack of the alien blowing you a kiss, half the noises don’t make sense but they all seem to work towards the greater good. The main character steals the show, though, whether he’s giggling after sending an alien to the moon or doing his weird “I’ve never kissed a girl” noises when he catches a heart kiss. The music is wonderfully 8-bit, and I chuckle to myself every time a chorus of the word “watermelon” chimes in.
I’m not quite sure what you’d classify this game as, though I suppose it’s sufficient to label it as a simple action game. Whatever the case, it’s simple to pick up, hard to master, and a blast to watch and listen to. If the somewhat odd artwork is what’s keeping you from trying the game out, make that your reason for actually trying the game in the first place. You won’t regret it.