The Average Gamer

Chillingo Review Grab Bag (iOS)

We get codes for iOS content through on a regular basis. I took the liberty of seeing what”s up with a few of Chillingo”s newest releases. Maybe I shouldn”t have.

Dream Inn: Driftwood

It may be painted like a simple Photo Hunt, but Dream Inn:Driftwood is an adept attempt at displaying the awful reality of senile dementia through gameplay mechanics.

After becoming bored with your city lifestyle, you decide to renovate an abandoned inn that had been owned by an older woman beginning to lose her grip on sanity. She decided that items in their rightful place in other rooms would be better suited in places that don’t fit traditional expectations. It is your job to bring the rooms back to working order by tidying them up properly so that the inn becomes suitable for guests again.

Here’s the twist: once you’ve collected enough items in one room you’re tasked with putting them back into their rightful place in another; this is exceptionally difficult given your own unfamiliarity with the object’s original home. This is clearly an attempt to put you in the same shoes as the original owner. You have the same level of confusion about the placement of these items as she had.

In one personal instance I had to find somewhere to put an anchor in a nautical themed room; an anchor would have fit absolutely anywhere in the place. It really resonated with me that I was frustrated with it looking fine anywhere but being prevented from putting it down except from some arbitrary pre-decided place in the map.

You really begin to understand and relate to the plight that would eventually leave her incapable to run the Inn business successfully… because it was frustrating and I didn’t really feel like playing any more.

Dream Inn is a masterpiece in terms of its empathic qualities, but it’s a terrible casino spiele game.

Air Mail

During E3 we were treated a demo of Batman: Arkham City running on the Wii U. Within this demo one of this version’s features was that the Batarang could be controlled by the new tablet controller’s gyroscope.

Air Mail’s only credit is showing you, months ahead of the Wii game’s release, that controlling anything that way is absolutely horrible.

In Air Mail you pilot a prop-plane that controls like it’s actively trying to fight you. The training stage suggests you learn the basics by flying through assorted hoops. This is laboured intensely by the controls which don’t respond well enough, slight movements left and right make too much of a shift and climbing up after a decent is awfully slow. It’s made worse by not having an end point to brush up against with the controls so you’re constantly guessing as to how much movement you should put in.

There’s a different control system that uses a thumb to guide rather than the gyroscope, but, again without any feedback it just doesn’t work.

Tiny Plane

You’re a dog in a plane. You collect fruit and coins for Reasons. You keep landing smoothly to refuel; or collect gas in the air. You see how long you can stay in the air.
It’s frantic, it’s completely disposable, it doesn’t try hard to be more than a silly score attack and it completely excels.

It’s the best one of the bunch.

All three games are available now for iOS.

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