Developer: B27
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Looking quite gorgeous and bundled with a fairly puntastic title, Hill Bill, seems immediately promising. Tapping into that Joe Danger-style vibe, expectations are predictably high and, sadly, quickly quashed. Hill Bill is just too fiddly for comfort.

hillbill7Across the 60 levels available, players control a hillbilly called Bill as he attempts to become the greatest stunt biker of them all. Controls look initially quite simple. There’s a gas button to the left of the screen which must be held in order to accelerate, while swiping and sliding initiates other moves. This is where things falter somewhat.

The gesture driven moves quickly turn quite fiddly with various swipes or drawn shapes initiating different kinds of wheelies and tricks. Crucially, Hill Bill is all about trial and error given that often there’s one specific move that gets Bill across the obstacles with other moves not doing the job anywhere near as well. Timing is vital, too, which when combined with controls that aren’t as responsive as they should be can cause plenty of frustration.

Such a potentially cool and flamboyant game really doesn’t need that kind of frustration. All too often I found the game failing to respond to a move, causing me to fail and feel somewhat cheated. No doubt that a small part of it is down to user error, but also the controls don’t leave much room for error.

hillbill2There are some fun moves to perform as one progresses further into the game, with the Super Man proving my favorite, but the struggle to adapt to the controls never really lifts. It’s always a bit of a battle to get the balance just right.

Hill Bill might have the charm factor but it’s lacking the punch that encourages players to keep playing. It could really do with some refinements to make it more accurate and user friendly.


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