Developer: Taito
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

img_00461One of my biggest problems with Cameltry occurs the moment you launch the app: it’s ugly. As you can see from the screenshots, the developers have gone for a old-style UI which could work if done well, but it just ends up looking tacky. Furthermore, the level design is in the same vein and tends to look equally garish and dull. On top of this, the music that plays during the game isn’t pleasant to listen to by any extent and ignores the iPhone’s silent setting, continuing to play until it is disabled through the game options – not cool. What Taito have obviously tried to do is mimic Japan Studio’s Echochrome that appeared on the PSP and PS3 last year. The colour schemes used, the fonts, the music, the sound effects (namely the woman’s voice used at the end of each level) are almost identical to those in Echochrome. As much as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I can’t help but feel Taito have borrowed a little too much here. This approach was done extremely well in Echochrome, but in Cameltry it just looks and feels wrong.

img_00501These gripes aside, it’d be nice to say that there is a great game lurking underneath. Suffice to say, there isn’t. The controls do their job as you’d expect, but the ball you’re controlling doesn’t respond as you would expect making controlling it extremely arduous and frustrating. To some extent, this kept me playing, not wanting to be beaten by it, but the lack of variety in the levels left me bored and uninterested. The replay value of the game is fairly good with points to be racked up but I can’t imagine anyone really feeling the compulsion to go back and achieve them.

It’s a simple enough idea that’s been done already in one form or another but with some innovation, could easily be perceived as something new. Sadly, Cameltry falls extremely short. In order to really make something of Cameltry, Taito need to go back and rethink many things. Firstly, it needs a revised UI that isn’t repugnant and secondly, they need to make the levels more interesting to look at and play as well as bringing about some innovations in the game play. The idea is fairly good, but the execution needs some serious work.

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