May 25, 2011

Choo Choo! Chugga chugga chugga chugga CHOO CHOO!

4th And Battery put out a new little free app. It’s called Candy Train: The Train of Candy. (Okay, it doesn’t have the subtitle, but it should.) Since I found Unpleasant Horse a rather fun little distraction, and it had the low entry cost of free, well, I decided I’d give it a go.

I’m glad they opened with Unpleasant Horse.

I mean, there’s nothing WRONG with Candy Train. It is a completely functional game. It’s just very boring. Much like Unpleasant Horse, the gameplay is very straightforward. There’s a little train, and a grid filled with train track pieces. You have to keep the little train going as long as possible by rotating the pieces to keep a continuous line going for the train to run on. If you get the train into a loop, the game will break it after one go round, so you have to keep adjusting the tracks. You can speed up the train for more points, if you want.

What Unpleasant Horse had going for it, though, was that you felt badass. The gore, the music, the expressions on the Pritty Ponies, they all made you feel pretty awesome. Every time you’d slam a pony to the sawblades, you’d be like “BAM! I showed that pony what was up!” The game gave you good feedback for doing well.

Candy Train does not. A point meter increases and there’s occasional little choo choo train sounds. The art doesn’t really pop out at you. You’re driving a train through candy land, sure, but it’s not a particularly badass or cute candy land. It just is. The track turns pink to show you how far you have a safe line going for the train, but the train just putters along and the score number goes up. It’s just not giving the kind of feedback I expect from a game so simple, and certainly not from a Popcap game. It’s just no fun.

Try it, if you’d like. I mean, it’s free. But it’s clear why this game is free: it’s not nearly as polished as Unpleasant Horse, which could have easily been worth a buck if they had, maybe, fleshed out some of the leaderboard stuff from more in advance. I guess that’s why you make a skunkworks team like 4th and Battery: some stuff works, and some doesn’t, but you try everything. Still, I’m not really a fan of Candy Train.

I’m not bitter that despite there being more Android devices out there than ios devices… None of the really neat games for mobile devices are coming out on them…

Comment by Jonathon Howard — May 25, 2011 @ 11:27 am

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