One of the biggest problems confronting smartphone game designers is working out an effective control system. As immediate and intuitive as a touchscreen is, the lack of any real feedback, and the fact that in controlling the game the player will always end up obscuring a part of the screen, means that genres which don’t require constant control are the easiest to work with.
It’s presumably that sort of thinking which led to Gold’n Rock, a game which has but one in-game input: tap to extend grabber. It doesn’t matter where you tap, the reaction is always the same: the little dangling grabber will extend out and grab whatever is in its path. Basically, it’s the smartphone equivalent of those claw vending machines that you get in arcades. Only rather than cuddly teddy bears, this claw is grabbing giant rocks and nuggets of gold. Oh, and handily this claw isn’t powered by the world’s most arthritic, worn out motors, meaning it’s actually able to grab its target, rather than brushing ineffectually against it before returning, empty-clawed, to its origin.
In a nutshell: your grabber swings in a constant arc, from left to right, back and forth. You have to tap at the right moment to make sure it extends and grabs the valuable items under your feet, accruing enough money to pass each level before the timer runs out. Some items are worth more than others, some items weigh more than others. The more valuable items obviously add more to your score, while the heavier items take longer to retrieve. Which basically amounts to: pick up the diamonds and avoid the giant rocks.
Only there’s a little bit more to the game than that. Between levels you can purchase power-ups, ranging from dynamite to destroy any heavy items you accidentally pick up, saving you wasted time reeling the claw back in; to geological books which make diamonds and rocks worth more, and enable you to spot and profit from valuable fossils in otherwise-cheap rocks. There are also special obstructions added as the game goes on: animals which skitter from right to left, adding a harder-to-predict obstacle; bombs which explode on contact, taking out any items nearby; and timed explosives that force you to rush and retrieve any items near them as soon as possible.
All of these add a bit of challenge to the proceedings, as you have to operate quickly, but also accurately: mis-time a tap by a few milliseconds and you can end up dragging a massive rock up from the bottom of the screen instead of that lump of gold just to its left; or end up blowing that precious diamond up instead of retrieving it. It’s never a particularly complicated game, as you might expect from its premise and one-tap control system, but it offers a solid challenge, is easy to understand, and perfect for pick up and play. The graphics are clear and bright, and it’s a fine game to while away your time on. Oh, and it’s free. In short: it’s nothing special, but definitely worth a look.
Gold‘n Rock FREE Gameplay Video
Gold‘n Rock FREE Screenshots
Version Under Review : 1.1
Gold‘n Rock FREE is a FREE game for Windows Phone 7, it looks like there is paid version which offers the same thing.
Our Rating for Gold‘n Rock FREE
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