Developer: Tornado Studios
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Fun With Death is a game that builds upon the hugely successful Angry Birds title whilst simultaneously failing to create an identity of its own. Sure, there’s a variety of environmental triggers that the Rovio team haven’t put into their game, and the concept of saving good souls and destroying bad souls is fairly neat, but really it’s just Angry Birds with angels and devils; lacking the polish and yet lifting much of what we love about the bestseller.

A shielded soul tries to push a bad soul off a platform.

Get off me!

For instance, the menu system is very similar, with levels unlocked one by one from a main level group. There are three level groups in total and on each level you collect halos, up to three of them depending on how well you did. One thing that can be annoying is that every time you load a level you are forced to read a screen telling you something about how to play the game, and then you have to tap to continue. The delay is aggravating, especially on level restarts, because loading times aren’t really an issue with Rovio’s title.

The menu screen.

Somewhat familiar looking...

Next up is the object placement, which sounds like it would be a neat addition to the genre, but in reality it’s like designing a level whilst playing someone else’s; in other words, a chore. Players place ramps, balls or TNT in specially marked zones and the less of these that they use the more points they will score come the end of the round. It’s a poor attempt to try and recreate some of the one shot set pieces that work amazingly well for Angry Birds and ultimately disturbs the flow of firing imps at bad souls; especially as the controls aren’t brilliant, with objects sometimes ending up where they shouldn’t be.

Similarly, the firing mechanism is fiddly as both power and angle are controlled by a finger, and small movements easily affect the power meter. Happily though, players don’t have a pre-set order of imps to complete a level, they can choose which imp to fire and select another one at any point. This starts to come alive once the shield imps are unlocked; little blue fuzz balls that fashion a shield around their target, rendering the being impervious to all but falling off the screen.

The game sports some nice visuals but doesn’t quite have the charm of Trucks & Skulls, itself an Angry Birds derivative that is far more confident in its design and overall theme, and really doesn’t offer a great deal more. Yet it’s priced at $4.99, making it as expensive as Angry Birds HD.

Fun With Death has some good ideas but these aren’t enough to set it apart from the competition. The way the game is presented and designed ultimately serves to remind players of Angry Birds, so why not just go pick that one up instead?

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

Tagged with: , , ,