App Reviewed on: iPad
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Kung Fu, delicate porcelain dishes, cultural tunes, and some pretty peaceful backgrounds all sound like they would be a dream together, but would the same combination of items make for a good game? Farside B.V. thought it fit to try making a unique iPad experience out of said combination. The basic premise revolves around balancing five dishes atop spinning shafts of bamboo. As long as all five dishes are balanced and spinning, the game's score counter will continue to increase. If a dish falls score will be deducted and the score counter will stop until all the dishes are spinning again. The main game mechanic is swiping the screen to keep each bamboo pole rotating. The game is fairly simple and repetitive, but the atmosphere and score incentives provide reason enough to play the game again and again.
The beautiful backgrounds and soothing music are perfectly crafted, and they give the game a solid Kung Fu theme. There are also ranks, such as rabbit and panda, that are unlocked at certain score thresholds, and clever "Kung Fucius" quotes (some of them humorous, others cringe worthy) are displayed after each play session. The package as a whole is pleasant, but the game doesn't offer a lot of variety. I found it fun in short bursts because playing it for too long put a lot of stress on my fingers. I noticed that as my score increased it became harder and harder to keep the bamboo poles spinning. Once my score was at a certain level it was next to impossible for me to keep my dishes from plummeting to the ground and shattering. I never figured out if the gameplay required a certain level of finesse, or if I was just supposed to madly slap the screen with my pointer finger.
Kung Fu Spinner isn't for everyone because it lacks depth, but it did prove to be enjoyable as a pick-up and play title when I didn't have much time to game. The main draw of the app is the high score counter, as one of the only reasons I kept returning to the game was to best my previous high score. I would've liked a more engrossing experience with several game modes, but Kung Fu Spinner managed to be entertaining enough in a pinch.