iPhones and iPod touches ought to come packaged with wrist lanyards and braces, or at the very least be available as accessories. Stone Skipper by Burnely Media is a convincing argument for them, as is the warning on the app’s iTunes page: “Be careful that you don’t leg go of your phone!” After hours playing the app, I came close to skipping my iPod touch across the living room floor and had a sore wrist. But, hey, injury is an occupational hazard of gaming, especially when the game in question becomes an obsession.
A what-you-see-is-what-you get game, Stone Skipper sets young Max, wearing a skeleton emblazoned shirt, and his canine companion, Andy, on travels across the Pacific, Europe and the USA playing courses in Sydney, San Francisco, Paris, among other locales. The app has three difficulty settings (Easy, Medium and Hard) that require more successively forceful “shaking.”
After the countdown, the player has one second to shake the iPhone/iPod Touch in the manner he/she would throw a skipping stone. Players must achieve a minimum number of skips (shown in the top left corner) to proceed to the next stage. If you don’t get the stone to skip the required amount, poor Max and Andy gnash their teeth and you are given another opportunity. If you fail again, you are prompted to replay the course. And you will want to continue playing until you execute the maximum skips of nine. Unfortunately, I’m still trying. (I was never good at skipping, anyway.)
Not much for computer games, this reviewer found Stone Skipper surprisingly habit-forming and an entertaining alternative to real, live skipping for this city boy. Give it a go, just don’t shatter your machine into smithereens. (Apple, please consider producing the aforementioned accessories.)
Stone Skipper is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch (2nd Generation) and requires OS 3.0 or later.