To look at me, one might never guess that I am a fan of a game about forklifts. But, thanks to Forklift Hazard by Veli Vaino (and much to my own chagrin given my recent resolution to be more productive) – I am.
The object of the game sounds simple in theory, but I found that it takes some serious thought and coordination to play successfully. Your goal is to use a forklift to pick up crates holding boxes and barrels and transport them to a burning furnace where you unload them. The boxes and barrels contain hazardous materials, so dropping them or tipping them over means they will explode into flames.
Four icons on the left of your screen control the direction in which you travel, while two icons on the right raise and lower the forks. To better gauge your alignment with the crate you want to pick up, you can tilt your iPhone to change the angle of your view. Tilting the phone vertically will give you an aerial view of the forklift and its surroundings, while tilting it left or right will afford you a side view.
In total, Forklift Hazard has nine levels. In the first level you are only required to execute the task with one crate, and in subsequent levels the number of crates varies between two and four. At level four, crates carrying barrels are introduced. Barrels sit upon the crates much more precariously than the boxes and are much more difficult to transport. Adding to the difficulty of moving the crates are walls and other barriers that you have to navigate around to get from one crate to another and ultimately to the furnace. As the levels increase, so naturally do the barriers. I found the most difficult obstacle to be a cement incline that made it nearly impossible to move forward without having the barrel topple over and explode.
The graphics of the game are very sharp and detailed. In the spirit of full disclosure, this assessment comes from someone who hasn’t played video games very much since Nintendo’s Duck Hunt was big, so I’m not exactly an expert. Still, I feel confident that others will agree that the graphics are very fluid.
Another feature of Forklift Hazard is that the game keeps track of how long it takes you to complete each level, and informs you of your time in comparison to others. You can also use the main menu to select between starting from the beginning of the game or skipping ahead to a higher level.
Overall, Forklift Hazard may require some patience in the beginning but is a fun game to master.
Forklift Hazard requires the iPhone OS 3.1 or later and is compatible with both iPhone and iPod Touch.