App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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Anyone who has ever seen a cliché television program or film attempting to portray urban life on the streets has most likely seen someone attempting to unwitting swindle observers using what has commonly been referred to as a shell game. Whether performed with actual shells and pebbles, or plastic cups and ping pong balls, the key of the game is to trick passersby into losing track of where a singular hidden item is located. While this always successfully bilks the masses on the tube, could this work as an actual game design? Gold & Chocolate aims to find out.
If you were to simply analyze this title from, well, its title, you would assume that being of both gold and chocolate descent, most likely this would be a game that will appeal to women. Really, are there two items on this planet that they appreciate more? All vaguely sexist and ironic comments aside, the game's name is actually referencing the color scheme that is used predominately throughout the game.
Set against the dark backdrop of a star speckled night sky, illuminated characters float and hop about, instantly grabbing the player's attention. The trick is, and this is where the previously mentioned shell game comes in, because some of these seemingly harmless creatures are actually anything but. Upon tipping the iOS device, shooting stars and meteors will begin to flood across the night sky.
As the animated sprites pass through these bright streaks of light, their true form will be shown. If they are innocent their colors will be washed upon intersection. On the other hand, if the creature is more nefarious, its true form will be shown as an outline around its existing frame. Upon the skyline clearing of the interaction induced light extravaganza, players will have to pick out the imposters by pressing the sprite and dispatching them from the screen.
There are any number of different patterns that are used to confuse the players as to where the evil minion lies, many using misdirection tactics that heavily resemble an interactive shell game. Though the art style provides a certain aesthetic appeal, that still can't disguise the fact that Gold & Chocolate provides ninety levels of very little variation in mechanics. This may be an amusing distraction while trying to wind down before bed, but don't expect your interest to be sustained beyond a couple of sessions.