Developer: Redblox Games
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Controls Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Against all warnings from Smokey the Bear, someone got careless. Or maybe it was lightning, striking some dry brush? Whatever the reason, the forest is ablaze in this iOS game, and it’s up to the brave FireJumpers to put out the flames.

FireJumpers is a real-time strategy game that involves guiding helicopters, cut teams, hose teams and water planes to key target areas of a blaze in progress. Players simply touch the vehicle/team and draw a route on the screen. Players must put out the fire as quickly as possible, but limited resources make it a difficult job to do.

What’s great about FireJumpers is how easy it is to get into. There are a series of thorough tutorial levels that introduce new players to all the things they need to know. The controls are also simple, and winning the game is straightforward. But technical problems plague this game.

The game seems to run slow. It seems sluggish, takes a while to load levels and doesn’t respond quickly enough to commands. The vehicle/team icons also seem too small. It takes several touches to get a vehicle/team’s attention before they can be moved or told what to do. I like that the area under my finger is magnified when drawing a path, allowing for pinpoint accuracy, but, even then, it can be difficult to get vehicles/teams exactly where I want them to go. And then when two icons overlap, it makes it even harder to select the one I want.

FireJumpers is a very challenging game, but for the wrong reasons. Trying to control several uncooperative vehicles and teams at once can be a frustrating experience. If it were possible to either zoom in or make the icons a little bigger, I doubt I would find it as aggravating as I do.

The game isn’t a total write-off, though. There are some great concepts and other fun things, like seeing pictures of actual forest fires and firefighters bravely doing their jobs which make the game even more endearing. I also like that the clock can be set to “2x” time, for performing longer operations more quickly, but I’d like to see a “1/2″ time clock speed incorporated to slow things down and make the game a little more casual.

I love the concept behind this game, and while the graphics are a bit basic, they work well. The sound, however, is almost non-existent. No background music, at all, and just a few noises made by the vehicles/teams. And yet, these problems pale in comparison to the control issues. Hopefully, something can be done to fix the controls and make the game run a bit smoother.


Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,