Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S & iPad 2
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Puzzle games are possibly one of the gaming genras most suited to being played on a mobile device thanks to their usual lack of any need for a twitch reflex and their ability to be played in short, bite-sized chunks when waiting for a bus or turn in line. It also helps if they have just enough charm to keep players coming back for more.
Charm, as it turns out, is just one of the things that keeps pulling me back to Rick O'Shea, a puzzle game for both the iPad and iPhone thanks to the joys of the universal app - no need to double-dip here!
Once installed, the aim of the game is simplicity itself. Mr Rick O'Shea is a human cannonball, and players need to fire him from cannon to cannon with the aim of getting him out of a series of levels via the exit door. There are stars to collect along the way, but often just reaching the end of the level is challenge enough.
Getting from A to B is accomplished by firing Rick across the screen, but without coming into contact with obstacles. This, more often than not, will result in the end of the game. To get around those obstacles, Rick can be bounced off things. One could say 'ricochet' if they wanted to pat the developer on the back for a clever play on words when naming the game!
Obstacles range from spikes and such to the actual barrels themselves. Some will move, some will simply explode after a fuse has run down; fuses are ignited as soon as Rick enters the barrel, so timing is everything.
Aiming Rick is a simple case of tapping on the screen and dragging a finger to change the angle of attack and then releasing when ready to fire our hero across the screen. That's the lot, really. What more do we need?
The game's main strength is also its weakness. Rick O'shea had me coming back for more thanks to that "one more go" feeling, but that also led to frustration. The more I couldn't finish a level, the more I needed to. That led to frustration, but ultimately I kept coming back for more.
Rick O'Shea is free to download, with the first group of levels included. Three more packs can be bought at $0.99 each.
All in all, Rick O'Shea is a a great little puzzler, and if folks are not easily frustrated it could keep them going for a long, long time.