Developer: Red Barn Games
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Offering a much worthier objective and set of morals than most games, Rodger Dodger might not quite work but its message is hard to ignore.

rodgerdodger7That message is that bullying is wrong. One that we all know, yet somehow bullying still occurs. In this case, the player controls a child who is determined to stop school bully, Rodger Tuffguy, from his reign of tyranny. In doing so, the child regains the many musical instruments taken from the innocent children. It’s a simple idea but quite a sweet one, especially in a medium so focused on more out of this world type things.

Unfortunately, the gameplay that forms such a pivotal part of this idea misfires a little too frequently. The idea is that players must dodge the many items that are thrown at them by Rodger, surviving a challenge and thereby retrieving one of the all important instruments. These challenges are quite varied, such as dodge a certain number of items in a row or last a set length of time. Things are mixed up further when the objective requires dodging certain objects, amongst a crowd of other, less important items.

Things are mostly let down by the control method. Players must tilt their iOS device to avoid the objects, or swipe downwards to duck. The problem is that there’s a slight delay on such actions, meaning it’s tricky to time correctly. Awkwardly, such movements only last a brief time too, meaning timing becomes an even bigger issue. All too often, I felt myself fighting with the controls rather than enjoying the game.

It’s unfortunate that such a potentially great message is sullied by awkward controls, as Rodger Dodger is a reasonably entertaining proposition. Free of in-app purchases, with plenty of challenges to work through and the chance of retribution against a bully, there’s a nice idea here, but it needs some refinement.

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