Everyone likes oranges, right? But everyone knows that oranges need the sun to thrive and there's a nasty storm on its way. As Official Defender of the Oranges (a title I just made up but which fits well with the game), it's your job to make sure those oranges are protected and that the horrid raincloud fails in its dastardly plan to melt your rotund little citric friends.
Like so many great games, the concept behind Cover Orange is deceptively simple. Each level takes place on a single static screen which contains a different number of oranges. Your job is to make sure those oranges are covered by manoeuvring blocks into place. When you've used all the blocks, the nasty rain cloud moves in, spraying black (presumably acid) rain over the screen. If you've done your job, your oranges are protected and you can move onto the next level with the knowledge of a job well done. Fail and the oranges will dissolve into a mushy mess making you a VERY BAD PERSON.
Behind this deceptively simple gameplay lies some fiendish level designs. Early levels are pretty straightforward but it's not long before much trickier elements are brought in which require you to really think about how to use the blocks.
Cover Orange really tests a lot of different skills. Some simply require you to build "houses" over your orange, some take a lot of brainpower as you need to work out where to place each block to maximum advantage; others require pixel perfect positioning to make sure blocks end up in exactly the right place, whilst still others rely on excellent timing to achieve the same goal. This creates a certain amount of variety to the game that stops it becoming dull.
Some of the level design is genuinely ingenious, requiring you to drop your blocks to manoeuvre see-saws, fire cannon or set in motion a chain of events that nudge the oranges under cover. This does introduce an element of trial and error to the game which is sometimes fun (working out how to use a new element you've not seen before) but it can also be frustrating as you can be forced to keep replaying the same level with no real idea of what you are supposed to do.
On the positive side, though, Cover Orange doesn't make you complete one level before you can move onto the next. Inevitably, you will come across some levels that stump you for a while. Cover Orange gets round this in a neat way. If you complete a level, it unlocks around five additional levels. So if you get stuck on a particular stage, you can go off and try one of the others and return to complete the troublesome one at a later date. This sort of feature shows the developers are gamers themselves and are only too aware of the frustrations which poor game design can cause.
Presentation is superb on all counts. The graphics are bright and colourful, with a (deliberately) child-like look. Full of primary colours and really cheery they look as though they have been taken from the wall of a primary school art class. Most important of all, the oranges are full of character and superbly animated, demonstrating a fantastic sense of humour on the part of the designers. They wave at you and leap around in excitement; save an orange and they jump in the air cheering or hold up a sign saying "thank you". As the storm cloud comes over, they raise their eyes to the heavens and pray. They just look so damn cute that you pump the air with your fist when you save them and feel ridiculously guilty when you don't!
Sound is similarly impressive (although Mrs SWSt - being a bit of a Philistine when it comes to games - dismissed it as "a very noisy game"!). The nasty evil storm cloud chuckles in a suitably nasty evil fashion as it comes over; the oranges emit a Lemmings-esque "uh-oh" as it approaches and cheer when they are saved. Best of all, there is a superb jaunty little tune runs throughout. It's one of those tunes that soon gets into your head and you find yourself whistling or humming along. Unlike many iPhone game tunes, it is also quite long so whilst it loops continuously, it doesn't become annoying.
Controls are also simple. The block you currently have to use is moved to the centre of the screen, with the remaining blocks for this level displayed (Tetris like) in the top left hand corner. To move a block to the desired place, all you need to do is drag it into position (on-screen guidelines help you determine when it is in the right position) and then let go. So easy even a three year old could do it and it's a great example of controls which have been designed with the iPhone's touch screen in mind. The well-implemented controls give you precise control which goes some way to mitigating some of the more frustrating elements of sometimes tricky level design. If you fail it's because your brain has let you down, not the controls!
With its cheerful graphics, jolly sound and fiendish and addictive gameplay, Cover Orange is a superb example of how to turn the iPhone's limitations as a gaming platform to your advantage. It's just such a damn happy and fun game that I defy anyone to sit there and be miserable whilst they are playing it. For just 69p, everyone should download this and bring a little sunshine into their lives.
© Copyright SWSt 2012
With a boring sit down job comes the inevitable need to time waste. Having an ipod saved me from the boredom of a 7 hour shift in an empty take away shop and cover orange was certainly part of that.
When I downloaded this app sometime around May in 2011 I was the lucky few who managed to install it for free though looking at the app store now it charges the average charge of 69p. This is the same price for the Cover orange guides and wallpapers etc as well.
-How to play-
The aim of the game is to protect the orange(s) from a rain cloud moving overhead by placing wheels, boxes and cans ontop using the ledges placed around the garden. In each level you will be given a certain number of objects to place around the garden sometimes requiring you to budge the oranges about or move carts around. The levels get progressively more difficult as you would expect and becomes quite hard to figure out what order to place the objects in order for the rain not to hit the oranges.
Like the lay out of the levels, I find the artwork behind the game to be very similar to Angry Birds. The garden is placed like the background to this similar game as well as the oranges having cartoonlike expressions to give it a cheerier, bold look.
-Would I recommend it?-
If you like games like Angry Birds then you would love Cover Orange. It certainly got me just as addicted. Although quite hard on some levels to the point when I had to Google the solution, it's very fun and will appeal to many ages.
One of the first things I did when I became the owner of an iPhone was to download the Angry Birds game app and spent far too many hours playing that and its subsequent follow ups. Taken in by the phenomenon of apps in general and faced with a huge choice of both free and paid for content I quickly began looking for other games and interesting items I could download to my phone. '''Cover Orange''' was a game recommended to me by someone else and checking out the synopsis for it I decided that at 59p it would be little investment for something to occupy my free time so I went ahead and bought it.
The object of the game of Cover Orange is to protect a cartoon-like orange (or oranges depending on the level) from a rain cloud which passes overhead. Oranges don't like rain, apparently, and if a single drop touches your character then it withers up and dies a slow, painful death. You have a number of items at your disposal to aid the Orange's protection and by manipulating and moving the little fella around the games level you can get him into a position of safety so when it comes to the point when the rain cloud appears he has enough cover to stop the rain from reaching and touching him.
Essentially this is a drag and drop game of strategy and logic and by using what you have at your disposal you can beat the rain cloud and move through the levels which get progressively harder as they go.
When each level starts the Orange character is in the open air and on the screen of the iPhone you are given a number of items to use; these include wheels, barrells and boxes and by dropping the items into a position of your choosing you can move the little orange around the screen and into a place of safety. On the surface it sounds easy but there are often obstacles in your way and little quirks of the game that can render some levels extremely difficult to overcome, it's a tricky little game on occasion but is a fun way to pass on a bit of free time and you do have to apply plenty of thought to how you go about achieving the goals of the game.
===Characters and Graphics===
Much of the appeal of this game is down to the irresistibly cute little character of the Orange itself, he appears to be a positive and upbeat chap, he waves, smiles and winks at you throughout the levels and once he has been moved into a position of safety he sits with his eyes tightly shut and you can see him praying with his hands clasped together when the rain cloud passes over his head. Sometimes he holds up a banner that says 'Thankyou' if you manage to protect him but if he does get any rain on him then he slowly begins to disintegrate before your eyes and because I'm such a soft touch I end up feeling guilty and sorry that I've somehow let him down when that happens. Of course the level can be restarted and you get another chance to save him all over again so all is not completely lost and the Orange never _really_ dies so when you do successfully save him from a downpour the gratitude he shows is a rather cute addition to the game which is charming to see.
It's daft, I admit it, but I can't help but like the character and I do think it's rather a sneaky way of getting you involved in the game that you actually want to help the stupid thing in the first place but such is the appeal of Cover Orange that I, at least, find it as playable and addictive as I do.
As far as the other graphics go they are really well done, crisp and clear images, nice backdrops with easy to see game elements. They are all cartoon rendered and are vibrant and bright and credit should be given to the game developers for putting together such an appealing game which is easy to follow and play.
Split into individual levels the game is essentially the same every time you play it, you have one specific goal which is to protect the Orange (or oranges) and although it could be considered 'samey' the levels are set out in such a way that you have to think about what you are doing. It can be frustrating at times, some levels are an absolute dog to complete but that is the whole point of the game in the first place, if they were easy to do then you wouldn't get the same satisfaction once you have managed to get past the tricky sections and it really is a game you can pick up and play in short bursts or for longer periods of time.
The game isn't perfect however and due to the fact that the items you have at your disposal appear at the very top of the screen it does take a little time and practice to get used to how they move around. Because you have to use your finger on the touchscreen of your phone you can't really see where an item (a wheel or box for example) actually is and although there are guide lines which show you where they will appear once they have been dropped it is a tricky process to actually master. You do have to drop items in exactly the right place at times and it can prove to be awkward in actually lining things up correctly but you do get the hang of it even if it means that you have to restart a level sometimes because something hasn't appeared in the place you wanted it to. As the game progresses and the levels become trickier it does take a great deal of patience and forward planning to get the results you need to complete the level but once you get the hang of it there is plenty to do and the game is a great way to pass on a bit of time that you may have spare. The levels do seem to get progressively harder as the game goes on but there are some latter stages which are easy to complete and I do think the game has enough contrast between the easy and difficult levels to maintain an interest in it. It does provide a great sense of achievement once a particularly awkward level has been completed and because there are so many levels to actually get through it's not a game that you are likely to complete in a matter of a few hours. The levels can be redone if you want to try and get a higher score than your friends and although clearly a one player game there is the chance to see how others have fared and what scores they have achieved through the leaderboard option from the games menu.
As is the case with a lot of games on the iPhone there is a menu screen to the game that gives you plenty of options. You can play the game through the levels as shown on-screen, the chance to view a leader board where other players scores are displayed, a list of 'achievements' that you can aspire to reach, full instructions and the option to mute the game if you don't want to listen to the background music. It is set out very much like Angry Birds so if you are familiar with that game then you should be able to get straight into the action with this but everything is explained and extremely well set out if you are brand new to the world of playing games on your smartphone.
The music that accompanies the game is annoying I have to admit, but I'm not generally a fan of music in games anyway, because you do have to think about the levels that are presented to you I find music to be a distraction so tend to play the game on mute, the option is there though to have it playing if you want it to.
My game is the current 1.5 version and contains 200 levels to complete, it is a game which has had regular updates and additional levels are released throughout the year, it was last updated in April 2011 and according to the iTunes store has had over 2.5 million downloads since it was launched. It is 33.3MB in size and depending on your phone's reception should only take a matter of minutes to download, I have never experienced any glitches or faults with my version of the game and it is a frequently played application in my iPhone's menu. The game has an overall 5 star rating from iTunes reviewers and seems to be a popular release amongst those who play it, for 59p it has to be a bargain, there's very little you can buy these days for less than a pound so for me this has to represent fantastic value for money and is why I am such a fan of apps in general as they offer so much but cost so little to buy.
It's safe to say that I'm a big fan of Cover Orange, it has replaced Angry Birds and Tiki Totems 2 as my new favourite and is a game that I can fully immerse myself into. I like the characters and the concept of the game and even though it is sometimes tricky to manipulate some of the elements that make up the game I do think that overall this is one to try out if you like puzzle or strategy games or even the ones that have to make you think. It's probably suited to all ages although younger players may find some of the later levels a little too advanced to complete, it should have a wide ranging appeal that would suit the majority of players though and as far as I'm concerned it is a fantastic if not slightly flawed game.
I can't award a perfect 5 star rating due to the reasons mentioned in this review but 4 stars is still an excellent score and for 59p I don't think you can go wrong with this one in all honesty. Definitely recommended, thanks for reading my review.
Please note that this also appears on ciao under my username.