Mobile Musings – Petri-Dash

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Cell damage?

With so many addictive games in the Apple App Store, it is getting increasingly harder to stand out and create something original. However, this is exactly what the team over at Distorted Poetry have attempted to do with Petri-Dash. Does it manage to stand out from the crowd? Read on to find out.

Petri-Dash, Distorted Poetry’s first release, is an original concept where you, a small fragile cell, maneuver your way through a petri dish avoiding bigger, stronger cells. It has the same addictive nature as some of the best iOS apps out there, however, it doesn’t have any set targets other than trying to beat your previous high score. This can effect the longevity of the game, as you might find yourself getting bored without any achievements to aim for.

There are two game modes to play through, Endless Mode and Time Attack. The latter mode allows you to choose between 3 different times, 60 seconds, 180 seconds and 360 seconds. You have until the end of one of those times to gain as many points as possible. However, with the timer appearing right in the middle of the screen it can get distracting, and take your focus off the actual game. Endless Mode allows you to do the same thing, but with out the pesky timer.

Dash to destroy the other cells, although some need more than one hit to be finished. Taking hits and dashing uses up portions of your energy, so be careful, as if you run out of energy, it’s game over. You can collect food to regain your energy, and collect cell tails in order to get point boosters. The more tails you collect, the more points you gain. Also, the longer the game goes on the faster the speed of your cell, so it becomes harder to move around the petri dish with out getting damaged by other cells.

Without question, the best part of the game is the control scheme. Distorted Poetry have come up with a wonderfully intuitive control set-up where tapping on the screen will help guide you through the petri dish. Tap the left or right side of the screen to move in the desired direction, and tap both sides simultaneously to dash. By keeping the controls so simplistic, it allows you to get on with enjoying the game. The controls are extremely responsive, which allows for a smooth and flowing gameplay experience.

Visually, the game is pretty simple. The graphics aren’t amazing, but they do the job. On the iPhone the games looks decent, however take it onto an iPad and it just feels wrong. The iPad’s large resolution makes the game look blurry around the edges, despite being an universal app. Moreover, the game doesn’t stretch to fit the entirety of the iPad’s screen, therefore it doesn’t feel like it was even meant to be used on the device at all.

Despite its shortcomings, Petri-Dash is a fun iOS game that will give you a few hours of entertainment. However, until it brings in Game Center achievements, it lacks the longevity needed to compete with the big boys. The controls are great though, very simple and intuitive, adding fluidity to the overall gameplay experience. Coming in at 69p, Petri-Dash is well worth checking out, and a decent first effort from the folks at Distorted Poetry.

6/10

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