16th Nov 2011
Ra.One | Genesis (iPad)
Genre: Action \ Third-Person Shooter
Platform: iOS 4.3
Pros: Decent graphics; Free to play.
Cons: Blatantly commercial; Overly difficult; Clunky controls; Bad sound effects; Extremely repetitive.
Shah Rukh Khan took the "all hands on deck" approach to promote the Ra.One brand. Leaving no stone unturned, a game for the iPad was part of the marketing blitzkrieg. Here is our take on it.
SRK Becomes Touch-Friendly
Ra.One Genesis is a standard top-down shooter. The game features three simple maps, each having three different bosses. The objective of the game is to decimate 10 different waves of minions, at the end of which you are presented with a boss. Lather, rinse, and repeat for the other eight bosses. You cannot choose between different maps in your first play through and are left with no choice but to play them in the given order. Which is retarded as the game does not have any storyline. Lastly, it also features weapons, power-ups, leaderboards, achievements, and micro-transactions.
On the gameplay front, your character can be equipped with two weapons at a time. You start off with a basic weapon, called the G.One Power 1 - easily the most unimaginative name one could conceive. That's not to say the developers lack imagination though, as can be seen from the name and description of the following weapon: SoundBlasto - SoundBlasto releasing charged waves from AMOLED Droid Convertor. AMOLED? Really?!
As you progress through the game, you can buy additional weapons with collectible Orbs earned from killing enemies. Also available for purchase are power-ups and health packs for your character. Of course, where there is King Khan, how can advertising be far behind? The Badshah of Bollywood doesn't disappoint here as well, with health packs being named Parle-G. Oh, the humanity!
G.One can be manoeuvered using the on-screen touch controls for movement and firing. This mechanism is a bit clunky, and quite often the character suddenly moves in a totally different direction than expected. There are also on-screen buttons for switching weapons and managing the inventory, from where you can use power-ups and health packs. A health bar rounds off the HUD.
The gameplay consists of enemies shooting at you from all possible angles. All you have to do is evade enemy fire, while keeping the fire control constantly pressed as your weapons have unlimited ammo and no reloads. Even so, more often than not, you will be the one to lose. Opponents do not drop any power-ups or health packs, so you have to purchase everything with Orbs. While you level-up as you progress through the game, it doesn't make any difference to your character's abilities - how retarded is that?!
While the graphics are good, the sound effects could do with some improvement as the constant sound of gunfire quickly gets irritating.
For a casual game, Ra.One Genesis is extremely difficult and slightly unbalanced. Worse, it has obviously been made this way so that you are pushed to purchase better weapons - but to own better weapons you need a shitload of Orbs, which are difficult to come by. Therefore, you're left with little option but to purchase 100,000 Orbs for $6.99.
Overall, this is a good effort by an Indian gaming studio, marred by greed. Download it since it is free, and you just might get some fun and laughs out of it, if only due to the weapon descriptions.
Gameplay And Design: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5
Carrom MP (iPad)
Developer: Geodesic Technology Solutions
Genre: Simulation \ Sports
Platform: iOS 4.2 (iPad only)
Price: $0.99 (approx Rs 55)
Pros: Slick controls; Decent graphics; Nice physics; Good value for money.
Cons: Mediocre sound effects; Slight performance issues.
I still fondly remember my summer vacations in Nagpur as a kid. Back then, I had truckloads of fun playing all sorts of indoor games with my cousins, due to the heat outside being practically unbearable. Of course, one of those games was carrom, an indoor sport very popular in India.
I grew up, technology advanced, and nostalgia finally hits back. Carrom has now been miniaturised to be played on a tablet — more specifically, the iPad. The game is called Carrom MP, made by Geodesic. Let's see whether it has the same charm and appeal of the original.
On With The Game!
Carrom MP offers three different game modes - Solo, One-on-One, and Doubles. The best one is undoubtedly Doubles mode, in which you can play as a team with two players on each side. Before the game starts, each player is given an option to enter their name and select a striker style. There is also a help page for people to learn how to play the game.
The controls are relatively simple and easy to pick up. To take a shot, the player needs to place their finger on the striker, pull it backwards, and release. The intensity of the shot is dependent on how far you pull back. A particularly nice touch is that the game draws a grey band that represents the trajectory of the shot.
The app plays by the standard carrom rules, and runs very smoothly. However, playing for a prolonged period introduces slight framing \ lag issues.
Queen And Cover
Carrom MP makes for a good pastime with its tight controls and easy learning curve. Visuals are good and the physics is well-designed. The sound is strictly okay though, and could have done with an option for playing background music from your song collection.
The game is a lot of fun when you are with friends, and to some extent it does have the same charm and appeal as the original. In short, an excellent way to spend a lazy afternoon bringing back some old, fun memories.
Gameplay And Design: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5