Developer: Fernando Ribeiro
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

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

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Shaolin Training is a simple 3D action game: push all the crates off the island you’re standing on. The trick? You’ve got to dodge cannonballs and other lethal traps! Of course, sometimes the cannonballs are helpful—they can knock over crates, too—but if you’re not careful they’ll send you tumbling over the edge. In some levels, you have to move quickly, before extra crates come raining from the sky! You’re scored based on how quickly you complete each level, with bonus points for not getting hit.

Shaolin Training comes with 15 levels, but they’ll take you some time. Unfortunately, the time-consuming nature of the game is less due to ingenious puzzle designs (and, yes, some of the level designs are rather nice), and more a consequence of the controls. The virtual joystick used in Shaolin Training is okay, but it’s just a little “floaty,” and imprecision in a finicky 3D game like this means that you’ll spend a lot of time trying to push a box from the proper angle. Add that to devious puzzles and you’ve got a problem. Your character can also jump and, if you stick around long enough, unleash a psychic blast on the crates. On the plus side, moving the camera is easy—a key function in a 3D game like this.

The graphics are good—check out the screenshots—but the sound track is a brief loop that quickly becomes irritating.

Overall, Shaolin Training is fun, but not exceptionally so. Personally, the controls were a little too loose for me to fully enjoy the game, but it’s got a good core. It’s a simple, 3D action game of cannonball-dodging and crate-pushing; the narrow focus gives it a very Zen-like feel. An update or two (with OpenFeint or Apple’s Game Center, perhaps, and better controls) could make it really shine.

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