iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 6

Written by Joe Martin

January 22, 2010 | 08:20

Tags: #chinatown-wars #grand-theft-auto #gta #iphone #iphone-and-ipod-touch-games-round-up #iphone-games #ipod-touch #round-up #trivial-pursuit

Companies: #apple

The Futility of the Existence of the Modern Era Wage Slave

Developer: Negative Kelvin
Price (as reviewed): Free from the AppStore

Futility, which we’ll abbreviate the title to for the sake of our sanity, leapt out at us as soon as it hit the AppStore and we had immediate suspicions concerning what this cynically motivated non-game might consist of. Our hunch was quickly confirmed when we started the game up and saw that it was indeed, a very literal and depressing grind.

A turn-based affair that lasts for a couple of thousand rounds (the amount is randomly determined, it seems) Futility has been boiled down to a heartless bleakness that starts simply with the line “You have to work” and gives you three choices; work, don’t work or kill yourself. The result of the first two is the same, while the last choice boots you back to the main menu.

As with Imp or Oaf?, Futility doesn’t really have much more to build on beyond the immediate mechanics. Once you’ve worked for a few dozen turns then you can go home, where your choices change slightly. Then it’s back to the start and the cycle repeats until the end of the ‘game’.

iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 6 Futile Wage Slaves and Imp or Oaf? iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 6 Futile Wage Slaves and Imp or Oaf?
The Futility of the Existence of the Modern Era Wage Slave on the iPhone

Granted, we haven’t actually got to the end of Futility – there are about 20,000 turns in a single game on average and we do have lives, believe it or not – but we’d be willing to bet that the game carries on in the same vein it starts in without much alleviation. It’s that simple fact which sets Futility apart from other, more interesting freebies on the same topic – such as the excellent indie game Every Day I Dream The Same Dream.

Verdict: Worth taking a look at for novelty value, The Futility of the Existence of the Modern Era Wage Slave is an interesting aside from the rest of the AppStore fare but not something that’s really worth anyone’s time.

Imp of Oaf?

Developer: Gilded Skull Games
Price (as reviewed): £0.59 from the AppStore

iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 6 Futile Wage Slaves and Imp or Oaf?Little more than a yes/no guessing game, Imp or Oaf? does exactly what it says on the tin by providing you with an extreme close-up of a picture of either an imp or an oaf. You try to guess which one it is. Get it right and you get some points. Get it wrong and you don’t or, if you’re really unsure, you can zoom the picture out by sacrificing some of your score for a bit more info.

What exactly constitutes an imp or an oaf in the game is only vaguely designed, so that even if you do get a good look then it can be hard to be sure, but oafs are mostly fat and thuggish while imps are spindly and mischievous. Both types tend to be seen with a random animal close by, usually a duck or a hedgehog or something. Sometimes they just stand there on their own though.

Really, that’s as far as Imp or Oaf? goes in terms of depth, as all you do is get presented with an image, guess which one it is and move on towards the end of the round. There’s no unlocks (though there are achievements) and the only other button you can press simply determines the length of the round.

Oddly though, Imp or Oaf? manages to retain a fair bit of charm through a rather unusual art style which mixes the sort of colours you’d expect to see if an acrylic factor burnt down with a rather striking scribbly art style. We actually really like the art, even if that’s all there is to the game.

That said, Imp or Oaf? doesn’t actually offer any real value for money and you’d get almost as much satisfaction out of flipping a coin and guessing the outcome a lot of the time. There’s an argument that the game would appeal to younger children, but then you’ve got to weigh up whether you really want to advertise your iPhone to little kids. The only real use we’ve found for Imp of Oaf? once the novelty factor wears off is by adapting it to a drinking game. Out of the office, obviously.

Verdict: A compelling art-style isn’t enough to make Imp or Oaf? a game we can really recommend, so probably best to give this a miss.
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