Being a relatively small country on a global scale, it’s always nice to see the occasional NZ developed iOS app appear on the App Store. Even more so when when it was coded by our very own ButtonMasher community member Aaron Koolen-Bourke. That’s right – in a ButtonMasher first, a “Masher” has created his own iOS game and put it out there in the massive App Store marketplace for the bargain price of $1.29 (NZD).
It’s called Trapit, and really does have all the elements required to make a great game. Original gameplay, simple premise that is wonderfully easy to get into, excellent risk/reward balance, sadistic ramping up of difficulty, and a great soundtrack, all make of an addictive game that will leave you cursing the game as you lose your last life just short of a new OpenFeint high score.
As the name suggests, in Trapit all you have to do is fence off the coloured prisms flying around on the screen to trap them. Simply swipe vertically or horizontally to split off an area into two to separate the prisms into their own individual boxes to complete the level. Sound easy? It is for the first few levels but it doesn’t take long before Trapit delivers on its promise of relentless “fun” – that is if you call being tortured, “fun”.
As you advance through levels, an increasing number of prisms need to be trapped, and to make matters worse new prisms spawn if you don’t work fast enough. The gameplay gets frantic before long, as the screen becomes crowded with prisms. Furthermore, each level has a time limit of a matter of seconds, so you won’t have much time to plan your strategy. Later levels introduce powerups which have various effects such as slowing down the movement of prisms for a short time (badly required at times), freezing them altogether, or everyone’s favourite – being able to tap on an area of the screen and destroy all the prisms around it.
The basics of the game are simple enough for anyone to get into and enjoy thoroughly, but it’s in the challenge thrown down to advanced players where this game really shines. There are two main ways to increase your score (dramatically), and the rewards are befitting of the huge risks you have to take. Firstly, splitting off an empty area of the screen serves to fill in this area, making it harder for you to complete your tasks by effectively reducing your available work area. The more of the screen area that you block off, the higher the bonus you’ll pick up – if you complete the level. The second way to accelerate your scoring is to trap 2 or more prisms of the same colour in the same area. Sounds easy until you have upwards of 10 prisms of all colours flying furiously around your tiny iPhone/iPod touch screen. Huge risks are involved in both of these strategies, but they are the only way to challenge the OpenFeint leaderboards that Trapit integrates. Achievements are also on offer via OpenFeint.
Trapi’s looks good and also sounds pretty good thanks to the thumping beats of the soundtrack by Reti Hedley. Because each game is over within a matter of minutes, it really is a great “pick up and play” experience that you can turn to whenever you have a few minutes spare. I really loved this game and was quickly hooked.
There are a few minor quibbles but nothing that should put you off a purchase. I have quite fat fingers, and at times my iPhone screen felt rather cramped, especially when my fingers obstructed the view of the screen. Also there were times where I could have sworn I had made a swipe on the screen but it was not recognised. This tended to happen when very precise swipes were required because I had reduced the available gameplay area to a tiny portion of the screen, and could be a limitation with the accuracy of the iPhone touchscreen rather than the game itself.
There is no reason that any NZ gamer with an iOS device should look past this game with its appealing introductory $1.29 price tag. Not only will you be supporting one of the coolest members of the ButtonMasher community – you’ll also be getting a pretty awesome game too, and the chance to take on my (currently) world leading score of 201155.