Version Reviewed: 1.02
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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It takes a few minutes for Bucketz Ride HD to really click. It's immediately quite fun, but I wasn't overly convinced whether I'd continue to find it fun after extended sessions. Of course, I was mistaken. Bucketz Ride HD only seems to get better after repeated plays, and I found myself seeking better high scores frequently throughout my sessions with it.
The idea is much like the original game, albeit with a focus on competitive play against others around the world. The bottom of the screen contains a series of colorful buckets, each of varying sizes, with a plethora of meteorites and other objects flurrying down the screen. In order to score points, players must dunk these objects into the buckets, ensuring that balance is constantly maintained. If one bucket ends up too full and tips the balance, it's game over as the buckets fall off the screen. Oh, and did I mention that the screen goes upwards of its own accord, so sometimes these rocks can fall into a bucket by themselves?
It's such a simple idea but one that's surprisingly fun. The objects might slowly appear at first, but things turn frantic as one nears better high scores. The challenge is mixed up further with the various positive and negative bonuses that appear. A tap of a flying clock might slow the action down, but mistap and hit a grenade and the screen is covered in dark smoke, making it tricky to see what's going on. Umbrellas, balloons and karma signs all go some way to helping matters, too.
It's a great combination, remaining alluring throughout. There are in-app purchases available, in the guise of coins that can be used to buy upgrades, but these are still quite accessible to those who want to earn coins the old-fashioned way. Challenges help matters here, encouraging players to pursue certain goals, and rewarding them with extra coins. It'll just take a little longer than succumbing to using real money. Such upgrades further enhance the game, giving players the sense of progression as they battle it out to beat friends and random competitors to the highest score.
All in all, Bucketz Ride HD is a really entertaining title. It's ideal for any age range, given its cute and deceptively simple nature and is the kind of title I can see sticking around on my iPad for a while to come. After all, who can resist chasing their friends' high scores?