iPhone App Review: Jelly Wars

iPhone App Review: Jelly Wars

September 8th, 2011 by

Turn-based social gaming just got a new member with the release of Star Arcade Oy’s “Jelly Wars”. Lob jelly bombs at your opponent across one of several custom-designed battlefields in a best-of-three match-up against real world opponents. Using Star Arcade’s Mobile Social Gaming Network, Jelly Wars can even connect players across any phone platform currently running the game. It currently features online-only play against automatically-found opponents, but the developers are taking suggestions on a possible story mode for the future.

How It Works

When you launch the game you have to first create a free Star Arcade account (or sign in using your Facebook credentials), so that the service can match you up against opponents. This is a one-time deal obviously, after which you will be automatically signed in when you start the app.

Pressing the big green arrow button finds you an opponent and launches your game. Your goal is to destroy your opponent by getting them down to zero hit points or dropping them off the map entirely. Using simple dragging gestures you lob exploding jelly bombs that either bounce off of or stick to walls, or you can launch yourself in order to get a better vantage point. The environment is fully destructible, which opens up strategies like taking the ground out from under your opponent or tunneling through obstacles for a clearer shot. The winner of the match is the first player to win two battles.

The game features stats, leaderboards, buddy invitations, and more.

Pros And Cons

I found Jelly Wars to be a fun and exciting game, easy to pick up and play quickly. It has the familiar gameplay of classics like Worms and Tank Wars, but features original graphics and sound that make it its own game. The emphasis here is on your ability to judge angles and distance, as there are no “nukes” or “banana bombs” that let you fire-and-forget. You need to carefully adjust your angle and power and make each shot count. This has the added benefit of making moving a potentially valuable strategic element, though since you move the same way you lob bombs it can be tricky to hit exactly the spot that you’re aiming for.

The landscapes used in the game are also finely crafted to provide firing positions with cover, places to gain the high ground, and of course water under the terrain so you can drop your opponent in the drink.

The only drawback to the game is its online-only nature, which puts you at the mercy of your provider’s data network. If you’re in a moving car or in a crowded city with tall buildings that can interrupt signal, you may find your game unceremoniously dropped. Since the games typically take only a few minutes to play, this isn’t so much a game-killer as simply a minor annoyance. It’s not like you’re losing 20+ hours of RPG gameplay here, just a quick matchup against an anonymous opponent.

The developer also reveals on their Facebook wall that they are considering adding offline story-mode content, which would be a welcome addition.

Overall

Jelly Wars is a fun, fast-paced, strategic game that has the added bonus of pitting you against real-world opponents. If 99 cents is too rich for your blood, there is a free version that you can try out first to see if the gameplay turns you on. Enjoy!

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