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Super World Adventures (iPhone Application)

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      26.03.2012 18:46
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      Super Mario for the iPhone

      The world has seen many attempts to be the "next" Super Mario Bros. And before you can say "contrived introduction", here's another for the iPhone. From its name, graphics, gameplay and sound, it must have had Nintendo racing to consult its lawyers. Still, if you're going to copy something, you can do a lot worse than copying one of Nintendo's greatest hits.

      Of course, there's a difference between copying Super Mario and copying it well. Thankfully, Super World Adventure manages it for the most part.

      As you might expect given that introduction, it's a platform game. The bonkers plot features a lumberjack who has had his lunch stolen by furry forest animals. He must leap his way across platforms, bash bricks with his head to release coins and other bonuses and jump on the heads of various denizens of the forest to kill them before they kill him. To get back his lunch, he needs to chase those furry critters across several different stages.

      Super World Adventure is a lot of fun to play. The undemanding gameplay makes it easy for anyone to pick up and play, yet underneath that simple exterior, the gameplay is as addictive as ever. It's fiendishly fun, so that a "quick five minute game" has soon turned into a thirty, sixty or 90 minute session. It retains all the compulsive elements that made Super Mario Bros such a joy to play and updates them with better graphics and sound. Arguably, this is the closest you are ever going to get to playing Nintendo's gaming sensation on your iPhone.

      Levels are really well-designed. They start of nice and easy, incorporating lots of easy to reach blocks before introducing trickier levels that will test your jumping skills and mastery of the simple (but effective) controls. As with Mario, there is the longer-term challenge not just of getting to the end of each level within the time limit, but also collecting all the available coins and discovering a few secret areas too. Sure, with only 36 levels it's not going to take seasoned gamers long to complete, but you'll have a lot of fun whilst you're doing it.

      Graphics are everything you would expect of a Super Mario clone, full of cute little critters that it's almost a shame to squash and a great looking main hero who is animated very smoothly. The look of the game is quite sparse - each level essentially consists of your character, the enemies and the blocks/platforms you can jump on. However, this sparse look and feel complements the simple nature of the gameplay. There are lots of primary colours used and on the iPhone screen, this gives the game a strong, bold visual appeal and very cheery look.

      Sound is exactly what you would expect. There's a short, bouncy tune that loops constantly throughout the level (again, similar to Mario) and whilst this can become annoying, I've found that if you turn the volume on your phone down a little, it's actually quite pleasant to listen to. Sound effects are the usual boings, bounces and bops common to this type of game - nothing special or ground breaking, but perfectly suited to the platforming genre.

      Controls - the Achilles heel of so many iPhone games - have been very well thought out. Because this is a slower paced game, relying more on careful positioning and timing than reactions, the touch screen controls work well. As befits the simple nature of the game, controls are limited to just three sets of buttons: left/right arrows control movement, with a button for jumping and a separate one for throwing your limited store of acorns (useful for picking off enemies from a safe distance). These are very responsive and work well. They are also perfectly positioned and just the right size. Unlike other games I've never had any issues with my fingers sliding off the button at the appropriate moment because they are too small nor are they so big that they obscure parts of the screen. Mind you, the downside to this is that it removes an excuse for when I die!

      It's not without a few niggles. Sometimes the game can resort to unfair tricks to catch you out. Relatively early on the first level, for example, there is a bridge which looks like a slab of concrete, perfectly safe to walk on. If you stand on it too long, however, it crumbles beneath you, plunging you into an abyss. There is no warning that this is going to happen and you don't have time to react to try and save yourself; as soon as it crumbles, you're dead. This is annoying on two counts: firstly you lose a life when you couldn't reasonably have been expected to know there was any danger. Secondly, dying at this point returns you to the start of the level (rather than continuing from the point you have reached), so it's doubly frustrating.

      This, indeed, is one of the game's annoyances: sometimes when you die, you simply lose a life and carry on from that point; other times (essentially when you disappear off screen, down a hole), you lose a life AND return to the start of the level. This inconsistency had me gnashing my teeth at times, and it was particularly frustrating to get very close to the end of the level and be sent all the way back to the start.

      Super World Adventure might not have a single original idea in its pretty little head, but when a game is this much fun to play, who cares? It's available for just £1.49 and you couldn't pick up a copy of Super Mario Bros for that. If you enjoy simple but addictive Mario-style platformers, then this definitely a title you'll want to look into.

      © Copyright SWSt 2012
      The world has seen many attempts to be the "next" Super Mario Bros. And before you can say "contrived introduction", here's another for the iPhone. From its name, graphics, gameplay and sound, it must have had Nintendo racing to consult its lawyers. Still, if you're going to copy something, you can do a lot worse than copying one of Nintendo's greatest hits.

      Of course, there's a difference between copying Super Mario and copying it well. Thankfully, Super World Adventure manages it for the most part.

      As you might expect given that introduction, it's a platform game. The bonkers plot features a lumberjack who has had his lunch stolen by furry forest animals. He must leap his way across platforms, bash bricks with his head to release coins and other bonuses and jump on the heads of various denizens of the forest to kill them before they kill him. To get back his lunch, he needs to chase those furry critters across several different stages.

      Super World Adventure is a lot of fun to play. The undemanding gameplay makes it easy for anyone to pick up and play, yet underneath that simple exterior, the gameplay is as addictive as ever. It's fiendishly fun, so that a "quick five minute game" has soon turned into a thirty, sixty or 90 minute session. It retains all the compulsive elements that made Super Mario Bros such a joy to play and updates them with better graphics and sound. Arguably, this is the closest you are ever going to get to playing Nintendo's gaming sensation on your iPhone.

      Levels are really well-designed. They start of nice and easy, incorporating lots of easy to reach blocks before introducing trickier levels that will test your jumping skills and mastery of the simple (but effective) controls. As with Mario, there is the longer-term challenge not just of getting to the end of each level within the time limit, but also collecting all the available coins and discovering a few secret areas too. Sure, with only 36 levels it's not going to take seasoned gamers long to complete, but you'll have a lot of fun whilst you're doing it.

      Graphics are everything you would expect of a Super Mario clone, full of cute little critters that it's almost a shame to squash and a great looking main hero who is animated very smoothly. The look of the game is quite sparse - each level essentially consists of your character, the enemies and the blocks/platforms you can jump on. However, this sparse look and feel complements the simple nature of the gameplay. There are lots of primary colours used and on the iPhone screen, this gives the game a strong, bold visual appeal and very cheery look.

      Sound is exactly what you would expect. There's a short, bouncy tune that loops constantly throughout the level (again, similar to Mario) and whilst this can become annoying, I've found that if you turn the volume on your phone down a little, it's actually quite pleasant to listen to. Sound effects are the usual boings, bounces and bops common to this type of game - nothing special or ground breaking, but perfectly suited to the platforming genre.

      Controls - the Achilles heel of so many iPhone games - have been very well thought out. Because this is a slower paced game, relying more on careful positioning and timing than reactions, the touch screen controls work well. As befits the simple nature of the game, controls are limited to just three sets of buttons: left/right arrows control movement, with a button for jumping and a separate one for throwing your limited store of acorns (useful for picking off enemies from a safe distance). These are very responsive and work well. They are also perfectly positioned and just the right size. Unlike other games I've never had any issues with my fingers sliding off the button at the appropriate moment because they are too small nor are they so big that they obscure parts of the screen. Mind you, the downside to this is that it removes an excuse for when I die!

      It's not without a few niggles. Sometimes the game can resort to unfair tricks to catch you out. Relatively early on the first level, for example, there is a bridge which looks like a slab of concrete, perfectly safe to walk on. If you stand on it too long, however, it crumbles beneath you, plunging you into an abyss. There is no warning that this is going to happen and you don't have time to react to try and save yourself; as soon as it crumbles, you're dead. This is annoying on two counts: firstly you lose a life when you couldn't reasonably have been expected to know there was any danger. Secondly, dying at this point returns you to the start of the level (rather than continuing from the point you have reached), so it's doubly frustrating.

      This, indeed, is one of the game's annoyances: sometimes when you die, you simply lose a life and carry on from that point; other times (essentially when you disappear off screen, down a hole), you lose a life AND return to the start of the level. This inconsistency had me gnashing my teeth at times, and it was particularly frustrating to get very close to the end of the level and be sent all the way back to the start.

      Super World Adventure might not have a single original idea in its pretty little head, but when a game is this much fun to play, who cares? It's available for just £1.49 and you couldn't pick up a copy of Super Mario Bros for that. If you enjoy simple but addictive Mario-style platformers, then this definitely a title you'll want to look into.

      © Copyright SWSt 2012

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