App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
I'm not an expert on this sort of thing but I'm fairly certain people who ride surfboards while being pulled by a giant kite tend to steer clear of costal areas riddled with rocks and debris. Of course a leisurely glide across calm water probably wouldn't make for a very exciting game. Fortunately Kite Surfer is riddled with rocks and debris, which does make for a reasonably exciting game.
Kite Surfer is a slightly more aquatic adaptation of those third-person endless runners that have been all over the App Store. Players control their little surfer via a series of swipes to dodge around, leap over, and duck under various obstacles as they try to go as far as they can while grabbing as many coins as possible. These obstacles can include docks, tiny islands, massive boulders, and more, many of which can actually be avoided in a number of different ways.Hiding among the coins and hazards are also a number of power-ups that can boost scores, attract coins, or even let the character fly temporarily. So what are the coins for? Upgrading a power-up's effectiveness, naturally.
I'll admit I'm not a massive fan of these kinds of runners but I did have fun with Kite Surfer. And I have to say the controls are incredibly smooth; the swiping is very responsive and can be queued up in a pinch to allow for multiple maneuvers back-to-back. It's also a pretty good-looking game. It's a bit cartoony, sure, but the textures on the rocks and items look nice and the water is actually pretty amazing.
I do find myself wishing there was a bit more to it, though. Kite Surfer can be plenty of fun for high score chasing but there's not much else to keep players invested. It certainly doesn't need unlockable outfits or persistent character upgrades to be relevant, but when so much of the competition offers just that it starts to feel a little empty.
Kite Surfer probably won't receive any accolades for blazing trails or breaking molds, but it's pretty fun. Fun, pretty, and controls incredibly well. It's a great combination that definitely counts for something.