May 12, 2011
The App Store is rife with titles like "doodle this" and "scribble that," and the entire category is pretty hit-or-miss. However, the latest lightweight game to make use of the overplayed nomenclature is actually quite good. Sketch Hockey, from maker N3Infinity Co. Ltd., is neither a new concept nor particularly noteworthy from a presentation standpoint (this is its menu music, after all), but the gameplay itself is responsive and excellent. Unlike standard air hockey, you don't use "paddles" to interact with the gameball(s). Instead, you track the path of the moving sphere and drag a line at your desired point of impact. The length of the line determines the speed of the carom, with shorter lines producing faster rebounds. Be careful, though, because the physics works both ways: If you miss your shot and the ball ricochets into the underside of your line, the gamepiece is coming right back. The graphics, while simple, are crisp and fast; and the in-game tunes are mellow and moody. There are six levels of AI, a two-ball mode, and over 100 OpenFeint leaderboards. Multiplayer is currently single-device only. Just remember, because of the nature of the game, it's quite a lot easier to use an iPad in 2x mode when playing with friends. For a dollar, you can't go wrong. Get Sketch Hockey now on iTunes.