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Saturday Specials: Bottom Of The Bin Edition

Rating 4.00 out of 5
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Welcome to my semi-irregular Saturday article where I take a look at two or more games for the price of one!  This week my selections come from games that I’m reviewing not necessarily because I want to, but because codes were sent to me and the developers asked me to.  Sure I could turn them down, but I have a real big problem with passing up a free game.   Besides, you never know when the unexpected could turn out to be a hidden gem.  Unfortunately, these two weren’t.  Other than that the games really don’t have anything in common, so sit back and take heed on my warnings for these Bottom Of The Bin titles…

AppRoach

This falls under a category of game I like to call “Why?”  Basically you have some sort of food in the middle of the screen, and a whole host of roaches are swarming towards it.  Your job is to squish as many as you can before they’ve completely consumed the food.  As you kill the roaches your weapon meter fills up, and depending on it’s level you have access to either a fly swatter, some bug spray or a bug bomb.  The fly swatter kills one or two roaches that happen to be underneath it, the bug spray kills anything you drag you finger over for a second or two, and I think the bug bomb kills everything that’s on the screen at the time you use it.  Of course, you can always just tap on a roach to kill it, but bigger roaches take more taps to kill.  In the end you won’t get through too many big bugs unless you can keep your weapon meter filled up so that you can bug bomb or spray the big ones.

That's A Tasty Sandwich

That's A Tasty Sandwich

The graphics are pretty decent, with nicely detailed food and lively roaches.  This begs the question, however, of why you’d want to see anything remotely resembling real roaches devouring leftovers.  I’m not saying I’m afraid of roaches, but they do kind of give me the willies.  The sound effects are okay, and at least the bugs themselves don’t make a lot of clicking noises.  Now THAT would be creepy.  The music is actually kind of nice, and it’s a bit upbeat and lighthearted, which almost seems counter to the general atmosphere of the game.

If you’re into bug smashing games, then there’s probably nothing wrong with this one, though I must say of the two or three that I’ve tried this probably has the least to offer in terms of options.  Personally, I just don’t get what the appeal is in this particular sub-genre of “tap to destroy” games.

Final Verdict: Not Recommended
App Store Link

BALLance

Other than a slightly clever play on words in the name that Microsoft Word really wants to autocorrect, BALLance doesn’t really have a whole lot going for it.  The object of the game is to get a ball from one side of the screen to the other.  There are only four levels, and honestly I didn’t even have the patience to get through level 3.  You move the ball using the accelerometer, which is touchy at best, and there is no way to calibrate it within the game.  There are yellow marks along the way that you need to stop on to earn points.  Then there are red marks and gaps that you must jump over, because hitting the red marks or falling in the gaps will cause you to start the level over.  Unfortunately, the jump button works maybe once every 20 or 30 tries.  To top it all off, the levels are timed.  Oh, and on level 3, there’s a red mark right at the start of the level.  Good luck with that.  Finally, for instructions you need to read the iTunes description, because there aren’t any in the game itself.

Peaks And Valleys

Peaks And Valleys

The graphics are quite basic.  The landscape is a green blocky structure, with occasional blue to indicate rivers.  Then, of course, there are the yellow and red strips, and your ball, which is a nice shade of blue.  The simplistic graphics would be fine if there were a decent game behind it, but since the game isn’t any fun it would be nice to have something to look at.  Sounds are minimal, mainly consisting of a noise when you hit the red strips.  There is no music.

There are plenty of puzzles out there, even when it comes to ball rolling platform type games.  As such, there’s no way I could recommend a game with poor controls, basic aesthetics and only four levels.

Final Verdict: Not Recommended
App Store Link

Come back next week when I’ll (maybe) be reviewing two more titles that I come across during the week.  As always, thanks for reading and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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