Every day I am seeing new game releases on the app store that have already seen a life in the flash game world. I dont know whether its the original developer that is making these iPhone ports or if the IP is being ripped off. Anyways I thought it may be a good idea to report on a few of these games ports, things I like / dislike with any changes made in the transition from flash to iPhone.
First up is one of my favorite flash games of all time MotherLoad.
I loved the simplicity and addictiveness of this game. Basically you play a miner who digs down through the earth for minerals and then has to return to the surface to sell the minerals. With the cash you earn you can buy upgrades for you mining machine which allows you to go deeper and stay down for longer.
The graphics are simplistic but functional, giving you an easy to understand indicator of where the resources are and where you are to mine.
The iPhone version of this game is called iDigIt and is by the developer inmotion software.
The first thing you notice is that the graphics have been given a significant upgrade. I must admit I like the graphical additions, I think they give a needed boost of professionalism to the game especially if you are going to pay 59p to download it.
Once the pleasure of the new graphics wears off you start to notice a few issues.
Firstly the whole radar thing. In the original game you could mine down as far as you wanted and still see the minerals around you, in the iPhone version they have introduced a “fog of war” that shrouds your digger as you start to go deeper. You can buy radar upgrades that increase the distance you can see but I found this to have little effect as you get deeper (see screenshot to the right).The effect of this is that you cant see where the minerals are so you end up digging blindly into the dark.
Another issue is the control system. The game uses an on-screen joystick, im not a particularly massive fan of this method in the first place but its compounded by the fact that you have 360 degrees of freedom when underground. This is an issue as when digging you can only dig right, left, and down at 90 degree angles so having 360 degrees of freedom results in you often digging in the direction you werent intending. I would of liked to have seen the digging directions limited to 90 degree angles when the digger is on the ground.
As for replayability of the game, i dont think this game will have the same appeal as other games due to the fact that the only change the deeper you go is that you get higher quality minerals. There doesnt appear to be any other variation (i may be wrong here). In the flash version there were events like earthquakes to keep you interested, I would of liked to have seen this developed some more and improved on, perhaps some interesting creatures that you encounter. This would of also prevented the most efficient yet most boring tactic of just mining every single block in a strip fashion from left to right.
Overall the game is probably worth the 59p (cheap!) download but I think some of the game play features could of been extended and improved giving a richer more replayable experience.