For over 40 years, the Quarks and Tulans have been at war and you have just been recruited as a gunner whose mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use the Quark’s cannons to destroy the Tulan barricades and save the devastated planet.
The premise of BoxBattle Lite by MaxNick puts users in the middle of this fictitious war, requiring them to utilize the Quarks’ artillery to destroy as many green boxes as possible, while avoiding red boxes and conserving ammunition at the same time. Users must develop their own strategies for demolishing the barricades, completing the specific level’s goal, all while using the least amount of ammunition possible, for running out will cause you to have to repeat the process because cannonballs are limited and will cost you points in the long run.
Upon startup, users are asked if they would like to enable OpenFeint, an Internet leaderboard that allows you to compare your scores to the scores of other players from all over the world. You will also be able to track your own personal statistics within BoxBattle Lite in order to review your progress at any time. After this, users will then have free reign of this application’s Lite version, which provides 12 free levels to give users a taste of what BoxBattle has to offer. (Those who love what they say can simply upgrade to the paid version within the application, providing over 120 new levels of game play.)
In general, BoxBattle Lite offers a great sampling of what the full, paid version promises. As you proceed, you can unlock achievements, receive medals and weapons upgrades, accumulating points along the way that not only help you advance levels, but also help you on your journey toward the ultimate rank – First Cannoneer of the Quark Empire.
Though the concept is simple, BoxBattle Lite provides not only a comprehensive ‘Help’ section, but users will also find a guide right within the ‘Help’ portion that provides a visual aid as to how users should maneuver their weapons, what each icon means and the different types of ammunition available.
However, when it comes to playing games on a small device, such as the iPhone or iPod Touch, the tiny screen does not lend itself well to precision and patience. With BoxBattle Lite, users must develop a careful technique, combining aim and force on a playing field that is extremely sensitive to the touch. To move the cannon up and down on its track, users should use two fingers to drag the weapon. Then, to shoot, users use one finger to aim at the boxes, pulling back further and further to increase the force of the cannonball. But, as one pulls back, the cannon’s touch sensitivity causes the aim to shift, leaving your cannonball falling in the wrong direction, completely missing your target. This leads to wasted ammunition, making even Level One a tricky task for the impatient or unskilled.
With such a small screen, even users with the smallest fingers will find this sensitivity and need for precision a challenge all on its own. And, assuming that Level One is supposed to represent the easiest level difficulty of them all, perhaps users should be greeted with a slightly less daunting test in order to draw them in quicker, because anyone who becomes discouraged after the first level will surely never make it through the 12 free levels, longing for the paid version and more game play.
BoxBattle requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. A small fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.