APP OF THE DAY: Gears (iPhone)
The idea of game-based ball rolling is not a new one - many variants exist; it could be rightly described as one of the classic concepts.
And if we are to exclude real-life ball rolling pass times, such as bowls or maybe marbles, there still remains a good deal to choose from in the realms of the virtual world - Dark Nebula being a particularly good example.
And so we have another contender in the form of Gears, a rather pretty looking physics-based effort from Crescent Moon Games.
- iPhone / iPod touch / iPad /
- App Store
Launched on April 28, Gears has hit the ground running and looks to have plenty of depth to back up its swish graphics. Placing the rather convoluted and unnecessary plot of saving the world from an energy crisis to one side, you take control of a sphere with the aim of navigating through three worlds each containing nine levels, offering a variety of increasingly difficult challenges to keep you coming back.
There are two methods of controlling your sphere: swipe or tilt. Out of the two swipe is definitely the easier method - perhaps too easy for some.
The courses are interesting with varying gradients, barriers and moving gears all helping you to keep you on your toes, and coupled with the nice visulas you might think this is an out and out winner.
However we found a few little niggles which effected our older iPod touch 3rd gen device which considerably detracted from our enjoyment. First off the resolution isn't as great; fair enough you might think until it dawns that it makes the levels look rather messy (as you can see from the shot above the timer in partially covered) therefore detracting from the playability. Worse is an apparent lag that creeps in.
Not only this but certain bugs were apparent, with the game shutting down mid-session and not loading properly; another time we couldn't remove the initial "Start Game" overlay, meaning we had to play through a couple of levels with text obscuring our view.
So Gears is really a game set up for those lucky enough to have next-gen iDevices, those with older models should perhaps look elsewhere as there are clearly some issues present - issues which the developer should put straight quickly.