App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Ama-Hina falls squarely into the "endless runner" category of iOS games. The core experience involves running to the right at an increasingly speedy pace while avoiding obstacles. Don't trip-up, keep moving, go for the high score. With a couple of modifiers. For some reason, the city (Tokyo? Kyoto? Some other Japanese urban center?) is under siege from a large number of reanimated corpses. For some other reason, the only citizens willing and possibly able to do anything are a couple of schoolgirls. Super hero-like schoolgirls.
One of them makes zombies evaporate with her punches and kicks while the other slices the festering aggressors to bits with a sword. Choice is limited to the brawler for the initial playthrough, but once all of the levels have been cleared players are free to choose between either of the uniformed duo. Plus a third special character. Gameplay is still limited to tapping the left side of the screen to jump, the right to attack and swiping to use a special, but each characters' timing and range is a little different.
Like most runners, Ama-Hina is great for short bursts of play that typically result in more time lost than was expected. Stringing attacks together, deftly clearing an old distance record and timing those jumps juuuust right kept me coming back time and time again. Having three different levels ranging in difficulty, speed and enemy selection didn't hurt either. Plus there's just something incredibly satisfying about beating the snot out of zombies with a tough-as-nails high school girl.
Ama-Hina has a bit of an ugly side, though. Not the graphics, those are great in their own way, but the controls. They're functional enough, but there's a disconnect. Oftentimes the action moves along so fast that I might jump to avoid an obstacle only to land right on top of a zombie that appeared after I'd left the ground. Depending on the distance and speed a well-timed kick could take care of it, but there were several instances where the zombie lay just out of range but still close enough to do some damage. I've also had similar problems with regular attacks when things really get moving. The faster the character is moving, the greater the chance to knock back an enemy. Problem is they tend to get knocked back too far, so repeated attacks fall just out of range so I end up punching or slashing the air and wasting precious time.
Ama-Hina is still an entertaining action runner when things run smoothly. It's just that when they don't it can get rather frustrating. That shouldn't deter the curious from giving it a look, though. Sure there are plenty of other titles in the genre out there, but how many of them involve re-killing zombies anime-style as a schoolgirl? Not many.