Version Reviewed: 1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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PUK is an extremely simple, addictive, and fun arcade game. It is a perfect example of a casual game that takes a straightforward concept and does it really well. PUK’s minimal aesthetic and fun gameplay make it one of the best $0.99 apps available.
In PUK, players shoot pucks at white, circle targets. Players aim the pucks by dragging their finger backwards, just like pulling back a slingshot. The goal is to complete as many levels in a row at once. Each level has a time limit and the player fails if time runs out. Pucks can be reshot if they bounce back behind the shooting line and there’s still time left, so technically infinite shots are allowed, but time doesn’t permit that. Pucks do bounce off each other, so if one is stuck, another one can be used to knock it into a target. Players can also shake their device to move the pucks, but only a few shakes are allowed.
The targets that players aim for are circles of various sizes. Some disappear after one hit while others take multiple hits. They make a very satisfying chime when hit, like striking a key on a xylophone. In some levels, there will be walls in front of the targets so players have to bounce the pucks off the side of the wall.
One aspect that I both love and hate is how PUK starts. PUK never explains how to play with instructions. Rather, it just starts players off on the first level. However, sometimes it was frustrating not having a regular main screen with various options. There are leaderboards through game center, but they’re accessed by touching a small square in the upper right of the screen in the beginning. The game displays the minimum amount of information needed and that makes for a great looking interface, but can also lead to confusion.
Levels in PUK do repeat, but not always in the same order. Some levels definitely do seem to come up more often, but the longer I played, the more variation I got. In total, PUK has 1000 levels and the goal is to complete as many levels in row as possible.
The graphics are very simple and clean. PUK goes for a flat, orange and white color scheme, which gives it a very minimal feel. The subtle particle effects that appear when a target is hit add nice touch and aren’t overly elaborate.
Overall, PUK is a great casual arcade game and is totally worth $0.99. It’s not the type of game to sit down and play for an hour, but it sure is a good way to kill a few minutes.