Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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Dawn of the Plow is a funny little arcade game mainly due to its subject material. Players play as a snow plow vehicle and must try to clear the streets of snow to keep traffic flowing in this kind of bizarre, but compelling title. It's hard to imagine that a game about street maintenance could be particularly fun, but Dawn of the Plow manages to do so by having a smart control scheme and a nice difficulty curve.
To play Dawn of the Plow, players use a very simple set of commands. Swiping up on the screen controls forward throttle, while swiping down controls backward throttle, and steering is controlled by tapping the side of the screen corresponding to the turn. There's also a horn that players can use to help move cars, and power-ups like the salt cannon that are controlled via an on-screen button. Using these simple commands, it is up to the player to clean the city streets.
The gameplay of Dawn of the Plow is fun and challenging primarily because of two particular game rules that make the game extremely demanding but also brutally fair. The first and main rule is that streets need to be cleared for cars quickly and efficiently (so as not to drain the game's "approval rating" meter), all while not crashing into cars. The second rule is that the plow controls poorly on snow as opposed to the road. Between these two rules, Dawn of the Plow is a dastardly difficult game, but one that remains consistent enough to allow for significant player growth over time.
Once mastering the basics, new sized maps become available, making managing the streets and approval ratings even more difficult. While failure certainly comes often, and sometimes very quickly, the game provides a very quick restart button at the end of every round that makes it easy to get lost in the game for long periods of time.
While it's not the most attractive game, either from an aesthetic or conceptual standpoint, Dawn of the Plow creates a very successful gameplay loop system much like Super Hexagon. It is just too easy to jump back in for a few more rounds, making it a nice add to anyone looking for a new, quick, skill-based title for iOS.