iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3

Written by Joe Martin

July 18, 2009 | 09:54

Tags: #iphone #iphone-and-ipod-touch-games-round-up #iphone-games #ipod-touch #peggle #racing #sonic #sonic-the-hedgehog #worms

Companies: #apple

Enviro-bear 2010 Operation: Hibernation

Developer: Independent
Price (as reviewed): £0.59 / $0.99 from the App Store

It’s a game about a bear in a car who drives around a small bit of forest, avoiding other bears in cars and collecting fish and berries to eat before he goes back to his cave to hibernate.

Why does he need to hibernate? Because winter starts in exactly five minutes!

The final twist in the gameplay however is the fact that the bear handles the car exactly as well as you’d expect a bear to handle a car, with only one hand available to operate the entire vehicle with – pedals, wheel, gears and all. The graphics seem to be almost deliberately awful and getting started in the tutorial-less mess is painful slow as you rapidly alternate between holding down the pedals and steering between the trees.

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Eliss and Enviro-Bear 2010: Operation Hibernation *iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Eliss and Enviro-Bear 2010: Operation Hibernation
Enviro-bear 2010 Operation: Hibernation on the iPhone and iPod Touch

Then you hit something and everything crashes through the window with rudimentary physics that interfere with the operations of the car. Not that you’ll care though, you’ll be too busy clutching at berries and trying to put them in your mouth, all the time wondering whether or not grizzly bears actually eat strawberries.

The hilariously titled Enviro-bear 2010 is obviously something of a joke game in other words, but the strange thing is that it’s actually hilariously playable at the same time. Players are presented with a deliberately broken system and encouraged to do what they can with it – a philosophy which has served Microsoft well for decades.

Verdict: Fantastic fun for the first few plays and oddly addictive despite the lack of replay-ability, Enviro-bear 2010 is definitely worth a look if you’ve got a good sense of humour and some loose change to get rid of.


Developer: Independent
Price (as reviewed): £0.59 / $0.99 from the App Store

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Eliss and Enviro-Bear 2010: Operation Hibernation One of the things the iPhone platform has rapidly become known for is the growing number of visually unusual indie games available in the App Store – some of which are ports of PC games, like Passage, others of which are totally original. Eliss is one of the latter.

Astronomically themed, the general idea of the game is to keep the universe in balance by ensuring that (what we guess are) orange and pink suns don’t touch. The suns, which spawn randomly onto the screen, will drain your life faster than an obese vampire if you aren’t careful, but the only way to get rid of them is to stuff them into (what we think are supposed to be) supernovas.

There are a few things which make Eliss more complex than it sounds, first of which is the fact that supernovas will only close if you sun is the right size – so you’ll have to separate and join the suns by pinching them in order to get them just right. This creates more smaller suns of course, which you have to stop from drifting around dangerously. In the mean time there are power-ups and space phenomena which drift around creating more problems.

The main problem though is the speed at which everything spawns on to the tiny screen, which forces you to have fingers nimbler than a double-jointed, pick-pocketing flautist. This creates Eliss’ single, critical flaw – it just gets too hard too fast and you’ll be hard pressed to make it pass level ten at all if our progress is any metric. That said, it’s totally awesome and definitely worth 59p.

Verdict: Low-fi and super-simple, Eliss suffers from a deadly difficulty curve, though an update is apparently on the way. In the meantime, check out the lite version for a better idea of how it plays.
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