Developer: Qwakers
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

“Qwak” is a game with a long, long history. Originally designed for the BBC Micro and later ported to the Amiga, Qwak is a relic of the 90′s…but the original creator is hoping to breathe new life into it with the iPhone version. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this charismatic puzzle / platforming game, and whether or not you’re familiar with the original version, Qwak is a delightful addition to any iPhone library.

In Qwak, you control a duck (ha, funny) in his travels throughout many, many “scenes”, all stuffed full of various elements. Fruits and gems give you bonus points, while power-up potions might yield extra armor or a high-jump ability. Enemies jump, fly, and bounce. Keys unlock treasure chests, and eventually the exit gate…take too long to reach the exit, and spiky balls will rain down in a hailstorm of certain doom. It’s an insanely frenetic game, and every inch of space is packed with something or other.

Your duck can run, jump, and fire eggs, which are used to attack the bad guys. Controls are touch-based. Two arrows in the bottom-left control horizontal movement, while the right side hosts a jump button and an egg-firing button. I was immediately struck by how ridiculously responsive the little duck is. Everything in Qwak moves incredibly fluidly, and the duck is no exception.

On the whole, each “scene” in Qwak is a lot of fun to play, and while death lurks around every corner, the game doesn’t punish you severely for dying. Many times I would willingly sacrifice lives just to figure out what would happen if I tried this…or maybe that. The fast pace means that it’s a lot of fun, and it’s hard not to smile as giant fruit rains from the sky…

Regarding Qwak’s build quality, I didn’t find any problems. The graphics and sound effects are both good, with a nice retro flair that you’d expect. The game provides two features that I really appreciate: a tutorial section for newbies like me and, for more experienced players, a “later levels” button which lets you jump into hard levels…once you unlock them, of course.

Overall, Qwak is a really fun platformer packed full of ridiculous nonsense. There’s nothing remotely resembling a story and it’s certainly a little weird, but Qwak doesn’t need to conform; it’s just a cheerful puzzle-platformer, content with itself. Simple, lengthy, vibrant, and just plain fun to play, Qwak is certainly worth a look.

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