Developer: PuzzleBox Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

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

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★½☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★½☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

I request a renaming of this app to Cab Control, referring to it’s obvious similarities to Flight Control.

In a way, it’s almost a complete spin-off of Flight Control. Instead of aircraft coming in from random positions on the outside of the screen, taxis do. You take your finger and drag a line (that happens to be a dotted line, exactly like Flight Control) to one of eight parking spots (sub runways). At this point, the game becomes more complex than Flight Control – which is why I applaud PuzzleBox Games for creating an original game by expanding on one of the most popular instead of simply making a spinoff with different vehicles.

screenshot-3

Once the cab (either blue, green, red, yellow, or black) enters the park space, a number appears next to the cab to indicate the number of passengers it requires before leaving. You drag your finger from one of two “passenger docks” (in the upper-right or lower-left corners) to the cab in order to make a passenger run from the dock to the taxi. Now, you are not only jugging cabs but also passengers, making for a much more congested and complex screen (that isn’t a complaint but a thumbs-up to the difficulty of the game).

Once the cabs are filled with the correct amount of passengers, you drag your finger again from a cab to it’s final destination – the upper-left or lower-right corners depending on it’s color (upper-left for blue and green, lower-right for red and yellow, and either for black). You get “cash” for points instead of just counting the amount of cabs you sent off; $10 per cab, so it’s easy to know how many you’ve done (take away the zero, for all of you who aren’t math geniuses).

Problems, Misses, and Wishes

Problems
There are two problems which affected my integration and user interface scores: poor touchscreen integration and incredibly small pause and fast forward buttons.

The game doesn’t necessarily have bad touchscreen integration, it simply doesn’t allow you to interact with the taxis immediately after they emerge from the outsides of the screen – you have to wait a split second before dragging them to their parking space. This seems like a harmless problem, but when you’re playing a game that’s sure to reach a fast pace, a split second can mean everything. You can assume that you dragged that one taxi to its place and then realize that the drag didn’t register because you jumped too quick to move it.

The button size problem is self-explanatory. Can you see them in the screenshot? Neither can I. Press your eyes up against the screen and look along the bottom of the screenshot, got it? Still can’t? I give up. This needs to be fixed.

Misses
Why isn’t there any music during gameplay? There’s some very decent music for the menu screen but none while you’re playing.

Why are there five colors and only two exits? There should be three colors: blue, red, and black. Blue and green share an exit as well as red and yellow. There isn’t a reason for that. Black can go through either exit, fine. But there doesn’t need to be green and yellow taxis (maybe make the red ones yellow, there kind of does need to be yellow taxis…).

Wishes
Copy Flight Control more – Make multiple levels (like Flight Control has) with different positioning of parking spaces, different color/types of taxis, etc.

Fix the buttons – Obviously.

Fix the reaction time of the taxis – Again obviously, that split-second gameplay is crucial.

Music during gameplay – Why create some decent music for the menu and leave it out during the game? I can understand that you don’t want it to interfere with the sound effects (like the sound telling you two of your pieces are about to collide), but it shouldn’t be that hard to make the music fairly soft compared to the sound effects.

Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , ,