Developer: doubleleft
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Garbageman, as a premise, is actually pretty cool. You play as a trash collector following a garbage truck down a straight street. You’ll dodge cars, poles, people, banana peels and other objects as you move from left to right grabbing trash cans and trash bags. Once you’ve got the junk in your possession, you’ll need to swipe your finger towards the truck in order to toss it in the back. It’s fast, simple and relatively addictive. However, rough execution and nothing but the bare essentials keep it from being incredible.

The gameplay, if one were to only consider this feature, is mostly fun. Grab the trash bags and cans and toss them into the back of the truck. As you progress, levels change and the speed increases. You earn money by discarding waste. If you’re good enough to pitch three items in a row, you’ll see a gift wrapped present drop down and earn you a nice power-up. You’ll either fly like Superman or enter this crazy trash-man bullet-time.

The issue comes from the physical act of tossing the bags at the truck. You’ll need to slide from you character to the back of the vehicle. It’s too bad that any error in judgement or any slight alteration of your finger’s path will cause the bag or can to fly way wide. Because of this factor, there’s a massive learning curve presented at the beginning of this game. You’ll likely spend a good deal of time just figuring out what constitutes a proper slide and what doesn’t before you’re actually settling into having fun. That is, if you can do so before you frustration reaches critical mass.

Additionally, the gameplay is repetitive and there’s not much inherently rewarding here. First of all, you’re moving down a single, straight street with a looping environment. After 15 minutes, it’s boring. The scenery doesn’t develop, it doesn’t change, it just is what it is.

Second of all, this is an age of social and competitive gaming. The high scores are entirely local and there’s no way to share your triumphs with friends. You won’t be unlocking achievements or seeing where your friends faltered. There’s no co-op or versus. Basically, it’s you, the trash and the open road. And nowadays, that just isn’t enough.

Don’t fret, though. Given a few updates and some revisions and this game could actually be quite stellar. Social media integration, new levels and achievements would do the trick.

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