by Lenny Liang
January 4, 2012
The App Store has all sorts of invaders. There are Space Invaders, Face Invaders, Jelly Invaders, and even Chicken Invaders. Now, Apple's own apps sprout eyes, legs, and tentacles, in order to bring us appInvasion. The concept of the game is fairly simple: match the name of an app to its alien icon counterpart. You choose the correct app, you get points. Pick the wrong one, and you lose points. Each level of the game represents some of the most popular apps of a certain genre, such as: weather, navigation, sports, and news. Each level has four rounds, consisting of four, eight, 12, and 16 falling apps. The first level is free. The remaining levels can be unlocked for $0.99.
The mark of a good game is that it's fun. The mark of a great game is that it's addictive. I had to write about this app, but couldn't put it down. Not only is it fun, it's informative. It's a unique way of discovering new apps. I do wish that the different apps in the game were spotlighted with descriptions, and not just names and icons. It would also help to have a list of the apps featured, along with direct links to the App Store. I love the concept of the game, but it is extremely buggy. After playing the free weather level, I rushed to unlock the remaining levels. The app crashed on me the first couple of times I tried to unlock. After finally succeeding, the point system went haywire, subtracting points for some correct picks. In the first unlocked level, I finished with a positive score in the sidebar, but was not allowed to advance because the game said I had a negative score. I didn't make a single error that round. Also, while paying $0.99 unlocks all the levels, you cannot choose what level to play, and you cannot repeat a level you've beaten. I unlocked the game on my iPad, but was still prompted by the game's iPhone version to buy more levels.
There are also a lot of other areas in which the game needs major improvement. For example, it needs a pause button and a clearer indicator of what to do when you're stuck (you click on the app name). The iPad version of the game features pictures of the cosmos that are merely wasted space, which could be filled with useful command options. Finally, the game would be elevated by a multiplayer mode, as well as a party mode that mixes apps of different genres. In summary, this game has a lot of issues. Still, this is version 1.0.0. Bugs, as well as upcoming fixes, are to be expected. At this point, I'd stick with the app's free version. However, appInvasion could eventually become a fantastic invasion of fun. The new appInvasion game is available in the App Store now - free of charge. Additional levels can be unlocked for $0.99.
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