Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review: Slingshot Cowboy

Purchasing games on the iPhone seems like a complete waste of time and money to me. I mean, I’ve always had a certain affinity towards Papi Jump, but to actually spend an extra dollar and some change on Papi Jump Plus? What the hell’s the point of that? Well, after playing Slingshot Cowboy Plus, I can see where some people might fork over the extra money if they’re fans of the game. Overall, though, you’re better off just sticking with the free version, annoying ads and all.

The point of Slingshot Cowboy is simple. Cows walk across the screen, and you shoot off rocks from a slingshot to hit them and try to knock them over. The farther out they are on the screen, the more points you get for hitting them. Simple, right? Well, yes, but I personally find the game to be maddening. It's similar to Paper Toss in that you have to measure distance on a flat screen. However, in Slingshot Cowboy, you also have to worry about your target moving, and ducking, and getting behind objects, which is an absolute pain in the ass if you ask me.

The differences between the free original and this Plus edition are small but important. In the Plus version, there are two all new power-ups that add an extra layer to the game—grenades and slow-mo. Slow-mo can be attained by hitting the new gophers in this game that pop up sporadically. With Slow-mo, the cows get sluggish and you can hit them easier. Personally, this didn’t really help me at all as I still had a pretty hard time judging distance with my slingshot and often found that even at a crawl, I couldn’t hit those damn cows. Granted, this is more a fault of my own than the game itself, but still, I was annoyed. So unless you put some serious practice into this game (again, some of my friends actually have, and there’s also a laser option to help you), you’ll probably only be hitting those far off cows by luck or chance. Either or, I’m still not amused.

The second upgrade is actually quite enjoyable though and adds layers to the game in that it employs a combo system. With grenades, which are also attained by hitting gophers, you’ll have three opportunities to wreak as much havoc as possible, especially when the cows get clumped together and are easy prey. It equals major combo time if you’re good enough to land them.

Also added in Plus are new locales. You start out in the same location as you do in the original free version on an open range, but if you get far enough, the tropics and the arctic await you. So a change of scenery is available for that extra coinage if you’re willing to fork it up.

Again, though, the only reason most people play iPhone games in the first place is because they have a few extra minutes on their hand and don’t feel like going on Facebook or listening to Pandora Radio (both of which are free, by the way). But if you’re a serious Slingshot Cowboy junkie, then $1.99 really isn’t all that bad a price to cough up. The grenades are nice, and the absence of ads is also quite comforting. Buy it if you’re a fan, stay with the free if you’re not.

Players: 1
Platform(s): iPhone
Developer: Digital Prunes
Publisher: Digital Prunes
ESRB: Everyone

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