Review: MadCap (iPhone)

3 mins read

MadCap may well send you mad. You see, while it’s a cute enough game on the surface, it’s also one that could have used a few more rounds of product testing.

It’s a simple game in concept. There’s a monkey-thing, that is throwing tomatoes at various farm animals. The goal is to land a tomato (which for some reason has a squirrel sitting on it) near an animal, where it will then explode, grenade style, covering the poor critter with red goo. Do this to all the animals on a level, and you’ll move on to the next one.

Yeah, this guy is nuts

The farm animals are a cute, clueless lot – very similar in style to Angry Bird’s pigs, really. Backgrounds are bright and colourful, and the single button gameplay makes it clear this is a game for people with five minute blocks of time to kill, and a dollar or two for a quick and easy app.

With over 50 levels, there’s plenty of meat to the game – and for people that truly get hooked on the formula, there’s plenty of room to improve your top scores. As the levels go on, new elements, such as switches, destructible platforms, and teleporters start popping up, so there’s plenty of variety, and the developers have made an earnest effort to give people value for money.

The real difficulty will be in dealing with the controls and wonky level design, though. Because the monkey swings back and forth quite quickly, and because there’s a slight delay in tapping the screen before the tomato is released, it is very difficult – and very frustrating – to be precise with aim.

Poor, clueless, farm animals

Given that some of the levels require incredibly precise aiming to hit the targets, often this game will degenerate into random tapping of the screen in the hope that the tomato will head in the right direction.

And often, when you do hit a particular difficult level, the next 10 or so will be cakewalks. Why this game insists that you complete one level before unlocking the next is completely counter-intuitive to the casual audience that it’s gunning for. Where Angry Birds is typically pretty fair, this is often a grind, and many of the casual audience it is designed for will give up on the game well before unlocking everything.

We’d love to see a sequel to this game, with more balanced level design, tightened controls and the ability to skip the occasional level that you’re stuck on, because the potential is really there for an addictive, humorous and cheerful experience. Or, at least, an update to this game. But either way, in its current form, it’s difficult to recommend MadCap over the likes of Angry Birds, or even Super Stack Attack, as a quick minute time killer.

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