Developer: I-play
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

As far as casual gaming goes, Vikings Row! is about as simple as it gets. It’s not bogged down with weapons and ammo and such; it’s just about collecting gold while steering a viking ship.

What makes Vikings Row! special is the way that the app goes about letting you control the ship. Instead of some kind of arbitrary accelerometer system, the game uses a control system that mirrors the way the vikings would actually be rowing. You have to continuously use two thumbs in a rowing motion to go forward, and then you have to alternate forward rowing to steer. The resulting rowing motion makes for an entertaining play session, and keeps the game somewhat challenging.

The real problem is that the game doesn’t give you enough to do. The way that the game is set up is that you have to get X amount of gold coins per level to reach different levels of victory, with gold being the highest. There are a few obstacles in the way, such as rapids and harmful objects, but without really trying that hard I was able to get gold on almost every level. Vikings Row! will appeal to extreme completionists, but the average gamer will be bored after a single play through. There just isn’t enough variation in play to entertain you for more than one go.

For a buck, it’s hard to criticize a game for lack of replay value, but the fact is that most people will play Vikings Row! all the way through once and then never play again. It’s a solid game, and it looks better than the majority of the casual games out there, but it doesn’t offer enough of a challenge to be played through a second time.

Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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