If you Hate the Recession You May Love The Bank

Price: $2.99    Score: 8/10    By Lara VukelichThe Bank

The banking system meltdown of late 2008 left many people angry. Not to mention homeless and/or hemorrhaging money from their 401K. If you count yourself among those who were negatively affected (AKA, most of us) The Bank might help you release some of your pent-up resentment.

The game, by Primus Productions, Inc., is played out in a reality where the banking crisis was actually manufactured and carried out by alien life forms from another planet. Far fetched? Yes – but here’s the good part – you get to blow them up for screwing up all of your finances. Your mission is to attack the headquarters of the alien masterminds, a bank in Montana, from the inside of your flying car named Sally.

At first, the game screen looked a little overwhelming to me. There are a number of weapons to choose from: rockets, a flame thrower, and a good old fashioned fire Gatling gun. There is also a control wheel that you use to spin around and a steering axis that lets you move forward and backward. However, it only took a few minutes and a couple of near nose dives to get the hang of it.

The game starts when you first fire on the bank, and the goal is to stop the aliens from escaping, both via the ground level exits and the roof, which they use to take off in alien space ships. You will get points for blowing out the windows in the bank and stopping aliens from escaping by either shooting them or blowing them up with a rocket. If you hit a non-bank target, or if aliens are able to successfully make it to a ship and take off, you lose points.

The game does have some room for improvement in terms of the tutorials. For instance, when you are playing the game and hit the “pause” button, a list of options come up that are never really explained. There are “steer” and “move” icons with numbers next to them, and tapping the icon increases the number by one. Through trial, I figured out these numbers increase the sensitivity/speed with which you can steer and move, but there was no mention of it in the help section. There was also no mention of what “UI on/off” referred to. These are small gripes, and I concede that they might be a non-issue for regular gamers. But, to increase the appeal of the game for those of us who don’t know a lot of video game lingo, it might be worth it to expand the help section just a bit.

I also would have liked a more concrete idea of what it takes to “win” the game. The only mention of winning is that “if time runs out, you win.” Several rounds with concrete goals would give the game more purpose.

All-in-all, this game seems like a fairly economical (no pun intended) solution to someone who needs his video game fix when his gaming system is out of reach.

The Bank is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

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