Even though the iPad has been on sale for little over 3 months, there are a wealth of games of varying genres and quality for Appleâ€™s new tablet sensation. Published by Chillingo and developed by Two Tribes, creators of the smash hit Toki Tori, Ice Age Deluxe: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Deluxe (IAD:DotD) is a puzzle/platform game thatâ€™s essentially an ‘HD’ (higher definition) version of the iPhone/iPod game released late last year. So is IAD:DotD a must-own or must-miss app?
Taking its name from the 3rd in the Ice Age series of movies, IAD:DotD puts you in the role of Scrat, the loveable sabre-tooth squirrel who seems to forever be searching for his beloved acorns. Through 36 levels split over five different areas (Ice Age, Cold Cave, World Below, Gaseous Cave and Dinosaur Dusk), your job is to guide Scrat and help him collect all the acorns placed throughout.
The game itself is very easy to play; simply touch the screen where you want Scrat to move to and he will scuttle off sniffing the ground as he goes. Touch an inaccessible area and a red glow will appear under your finger. But thereâ€™s more to the game than just getting Scrat to move from one part of the screen to another. Both helping and hindering you in your quest for your acorns are different environmental obstacles including ladders to climb, foliage to hang from the ceiling blocks of stone and ice to move and smash, tar bubbles that allow you to float up for a short distance as well as gas clouds that will spell the end of your foraging ways if you stay too long within its gaseous grasp. The puzzle part comes in the form of using the environment to avoid certain death and to reach those oh so succulent acorns. Collect enough acorns throughout the gameâ€™s 5 areas and youâ€™ll unlock â€˜expert levelâ€™; this is essentially more levels with the difficulty ramped up a bit.
So, whatâ€™s the game actually like? Well, to be honest, I found myself getting bored very quickly; while the levels are quite challenging, the game just isnâ€™t fun or exciting. There just seems very little variation on what you have to do. Itâ€™s just a case of touch the screen, watch Scrat scuttle to the point, move him to the next point, move or get past an obstacle, collect acorn and repeat. The graphics are very nicely rendered and the characters and environments certainly look like what theyâ€™re supposed to. The sound effects are spot on but the in-game music gets very repetitive very quickly, and I found myself switching it off after a few minutes.
As I mentioned at the top of my review, Ice Age Deluxe: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was developed by Two Tribes, creators of the award-winning Toki Tori but sadly lacks a lot of the charm and gameplay elements of their earlier game. There is limited fun to be had in the game, albeit in small amounts. This is the type of game you’d play in short bursts; not for long periods of time. If youâ€™ve got kids who are fans of the films, then this is ideal for keeping the kids quiet on car journeys. Yes, it only costs Â£1.79 (at the time of writing), but it still doesnâ€™t make it an OMG this game is a must-have; there are a lot of other games on iTunes that are cheaper and better.
Ice Age Deluxe: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is available on the App Store here, for just Â£1.79 at the time of writing.