Poof ’em!: Shoot ’em Up Ghost Game

Price: $0.99   Score: 6/10   By Michelle SchustermanPoof! 'em!

The challenge behind some games can walk that fine line between fun and frustrating, and sometimes it doesn’t take much to push it over to the latter. While I understand the challenge behind Poof ’em!, designed by Tech BLA Solutions Pvt ltd, I was also a little put off by a few things.

The graphics are definitely cute, with a spooky Halloween theme. Your job is to kill the ghosts by firing at them with the colored pumpkins at the bottom of the screen. The ghosts fly around and change size, and the pumpkins move from left to right too.

Each ghost has a color written on it, and this indicates the color pumpkin that you must use to kill it. If you hit it with a different colored pumpkin, the ghost dies but you lose points rather than gain. The tricky part is that the name of the color is written in a different color. For example, one ghost may have the color “red” written on it in blue. It’s mighty tempting to kill that ghost with a blue pumpkin, let me tell you. So the challenge is to actually read the color, rather than match the colors you see.

This could be fun for some, frustrating for others. What I couldn’t figure out was how to refill my ammo. Because each time you fire from a colored pumpkin, they lose their color. The instructions simply show a picture of “refill balls” (in various colors) and says to collect them with any pumpkin. The problem is, the balls rarely appear. I watched the game go on with my green pumpkin empty, the screen filled with only “green” labeled ghosts.

At last, a green refill ball appeared – but my pumpkin was empty, no way to refill. Which is fine – lesson learned, don’t empty the pumpkin – but no red or blue labeled ghosts ever came my way. The only way to finish the level was to kill off all the green ghosts with my blue and red pumpkins, causing my score to plunge down into the negative thousands.

Situations like that are what make the game a bit frustrating to figure out – I don’t like having to give up in a level that way. However, the concept is cute, and I like the graphics and the fact that you can change themes. For $0.99, it might be a fun way to kill some time.

Poof ’em! requires iPhone OS 3.1.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer in order to speed up the publication of this review.

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