For those of you new to the iPad and the iTunes App store, some discouraging news- Apple now boasts of over 8000 apps, and a good portion of those being games. This puts the iOS gamer at a bit of a disadvantage: while everyone is aware of the huge hits like Angry Birds, where does the bored gamer turn for something new and unique?
Never fear, MKO Games is here to help you burn up those spare minutes with Split Apple. The game has a simple premise- you control an archer firing at a backyard target, scoring points based on your accuracy. The facets making this unremarkable concept entertaining are a mix of innovative controls and smooth three dimensional graphics. You draw the bow via a slider control on the side of the screen conveniently placed for thumb control (and adjustable for right or left handed control via the settings panel) and aim by tilting your iPad, mimicking the motion of the arm holding the bow. As you draw the bowstring, a focus circle narrows showing the direction of the released arrow. The controls had a shallow learning curve and were fairly simple to acclimate to, but difficult to master when the difficulty of the game increased. Wind, distance, moving targets, and obstacles made the game surprisingly challenging.
Split Apple offers four modes of play- Challenge, with a series of increasingly difficult targets; Time Trial, challenging the player to score as high as possible in a limited time; Survival, offering a limited number of arrows; and Pop Up, a gallery of targets that are only up for a limited time.
The camera perspective was similar to the cut scenes in Infinity Blade- smooth, crisp, and impressive. In-game animation was fluid, and the designers included some fun Easter Eggs (hint- the apples on the tree at the back of the range aren’t just for decoration). Split Apple is compatible all iOS devices, compatible with the iOS Game Center and has several achievements.
If you’re looking for a unique casual game for your iOS device give Split Apple a try. The game is available for download now via the iTunes App store; the universal HD version for $2.99, the iPhone-specific version for 99 cents, and for the cost-averse a free lite version so you can try before you buy.