Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini 2
Replay Value Rating:
Wheel & Deal is simple. Very Simple.
The gameplay itself is built on simplicity, as seen in the opening salvo where the game's arcade feel is revealed in all its glory. We get a rectangular 2D grid, and in this grid the player gets to control a small hovercraft that continually moves forward by default. The vehicle can be made to turn right by tapping the right of the screen, and left by tapping the left, always in that perpetual forward motion until or unless both sides of the screen are tapped simultaneously, which causes braking.
The control system comes in handy against the waves of enemy hovercraft that start to appear, and are of course intent on destroying the player's craft. They come in with artillery, and are not opposed to causing damage by tried and true ramming - demolition derby-style. The player's vehicle has a trick or two up its sleeve here, and that includes automatic shooting and an exhaustible shield. Per the former, all the player needs to do is to direct the weapon towards the opposing ships. Cash can be "collected" from the destroyed enemy.
From this simple idea, the gameplay flows. Different enemy ships have different abilities to withstand attacks, and the interface is interestingly varied. There are fun, limited-usage power-ups that bring a new feel, and altogether it's a delightfully hectic symphony of dodging, darting, attack, and defense.
The main goal is obviously to stay alive as long as possible, and to collect as much cash as possible. This virtual cash can be used to purchase upgrades, and again, this process is simple: there are 4 vehicles to unlock. Each of the vehicles has a different type of shooting weapon as well.
If I hadn't praised the simplicity before, let me do so now. The game works because it's easy to understand, and is able to pull in some tenured gaming elements into an easily consumed package.
Simple isn't always fun, but it manages to be so in Wheel & Deal.