Price: $0.99 (LITE version available)
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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While some games available on the App Store set out to demonstrate how you can pay a couple of bucks for hours of deep entertainment and storytelling, others exist purely to distract you for five or ten minutes here and there during your day. Think of it as like food. While an RPG or FPS game is your lunch or dinner, you're still going to want to snack on something in between. Pirate Subs!!! is that snack. Fortunately it's like an apple, a healthy snack that's also enjoyable to eat, rather than one that just makes you feel bad afterwards.
The concept is incredibly simple. You have to blow submarines out of the water by tapping them. Once they're in the air, you then have to swipe your finger across them thus flinging them across the screen. Simple eh? Don't worry about your motivations. I have no idea what they are and I'm not convinced it matters much either.
The simple control system means it's easy to play with the main joy coming from trying to beat your previous high score. It's the kind of game that you succeed best at once you get into the right rhythm. There is a little more to it than simply tapping submarines though. For one thing, if one of the subs goes off the screen to the right, you lose a life. You've only got three lives before it's game over. You also lose lives for tapping the polar bear cubs and whales that are trying to mind their own business as they swim past.
There's more on offer than just the standard classic mode too. An expert mode offers a harder challenge, while a Zen mode offers a much easier challenge - a variation on difficulty levels really. There's also a time trial mode to see how many points you can acquire in a minute as well as a cheat mode. This cheat mode allows you to turn on invincibility, change gravity, remove all big submarines and polar bears, as well as inflict 'uber blasts' on the subs. Ultimately it's the same kind of experience but at least it's mixing things up a little.
Pirate Subs!!! is a snack of a game but a tasty one. The music also sounds very much like the Pirates of the Carribean theme music which was rather appropriate. You won't spend hours upon hours playing Pirate Subs!!! but you'll enjoy dropping by every now and then in order to compete with friends thanks to the Game Center leaderboards and achievement system.