by Staff Writer
January 14, 2010
UpdateGlow Hockey has been updated to version 2.0, and is now titled Glow Hockey 2. With the update comes quite a few features. The main addition is new themes instead of the visual candy original. Now there are varied color schemes including hot chili, greenfield, and jewel. In total there are six board designs, and you can change the paddle and puck color choosing between four colors. Also included is local wifi multiplayer which boosts the limited connectivity of two players same device of the previously reviewed version. This definitely increases replayability, and makes it a more customizable experience. Glow Hockey still falls behind the likes of Air Hockey and Touch Hockey: FS5, but boosts it's rating from not worth it to worth considering depending on how many other air hockey games you already have.
OverviewGlow Hockey isn’t a new title, but it’s success is definitely new. The game was released nearly unnoticed in September, and now in January it’s been hovering in and out of the top 10. Glow Hockey is another air hockey game which there definitely isn’t a shortage of in the App Store. Glow Hockey attempts to separate itself by providing a glowing neon interface as well as particle effects. Rather than the traditional tables we’ve seen in other air hockey apps. Is glow Hockey worth the hype, is it the best air hockey game, let’s find out.
FeaturesThe game isn't exactly feature rich. You can do quick play mode on four difficulties from easy to insane. Or you can choose to play championship mode where you progress through increasingly difficult computer opponents, and your stats are tracked. Finally you can play two player on the same device. That's about it, the other highlights are the glowing interface which is obvious in the title and screenshots. An update is planned to bring local wifi multiplayer, OpenFeint leaderboards, improved AI, and selectable style of tables. Be wary though since the game hasn’t been updated since September.
The GoodThe highlight of Glow Hockey is the glowing. The neon theme is absolutely brilliant looking on the iPhone. The four quadrants in the game each have a different color, and the puck glows gold as it whizzes around with a trail effect. The particle effect is really what separates the game as it's an explosion of color as the puck bounces off the sides. Everything flows smoothly despite the potential high speeds, and how much is going on at once. The entire interface is extremely polished in every regard. Championship mode saves your level progress, and there are three save files. The game control is silky smooth, and it is completely responsive picking up your finger movements. Controls meld with you feeling like your finger is where the puck is, and you hit it with your finger. The puck bouncing physics seem completely accurate as well.
The BadGlow Hockey is fun and neat once maybe twice, but that's about it. This is one of the shortest lived games you can get, and is even shorter than comparable air hockey games. Take a look at the bottom for a few notable choices that provide more replayabiltiy for an air hockey game (there are lite versions of each). There is no type of replayabiltiy what so ever. No online multiplayer over wifi, bluetooth or anything. There are no online high scores or achievements. The championship mode is nothing more than slowly increasing AI difficulty endlessly, and keeping your stats. There is no reason to continue playing championship mode with no end, and seemingly no variation from game to game. The computer AI is too easy for most of the championship. If you want a challenge you need to play insane on free play, other than that the computer knocks the puck in its own goal most of the time. Besides the visuals there is no distinction of this game in any way. Despite how nice the visuals are, you don't really appreciate them because you're concentrating on playing. It's nice to watch but that only goes so far. Also like many air hockey games on the iPhone the playfield is only the size of the screen so everything seems cramped. It doesn't feel like air hockey in such small spaces, so you may want to check out world cup air hockey or air hockey pro for a 3D perspective. The included sounds are nearly non-existent with only a sound as the puck banks off the sides. That is it, which is really disappointing.
The VerdictGlow Hockey is a really nice looking air hockey game, that is neat the first few times, and then you'll probably never use it again. The game is much too simplistic, especially compared to some good quality air hockey games in the App Store. The game looks and controls well, but that's not enough to compete. For $0.99 Glow Hockey is not worth it simply because there are better choices.
World Cup Air Hockey™
Touch Hockey: FS5