When you’re dealing with a small screen, as with the iPhone and iPod Touch, intricate role-playing games seem taxing, for the small graphics aren’t always easy to see and the controls aren’t always easy to maneuver. Simple games fill such screens much more comfortably. With Trenchman by Brainchild Interactive, users find themselves in the middle of a simple, yet entertaining war game where they must defend their trench from the encroaching enemy line. As the only man left standing, you must strategically toss grenades at the enemy and stop them from taking you down first.
Upon startup, you will find the main menu has only three buttons: New Game, Continue and Help. The Help button, of course, explains the basics of the game itself. You, as the last man living in your trench, must see how long you can last as the enemy tries to infiltrate you space and kill you.
To throw grenades, just touch the screen where you want to see them land. The enemy appears, angry and ready to fire, while you have limited lives (as indicated by the helmets in the bottom left corner), you must be sure to take them down before they get within shooting range. They don’t seem to start their full attack until they are within a close enough range, so you’ll have ample opportunity to fend them off with grenades. However, as the game progresses, the enemy moves quicker and gains in numbers, so you best create an effective strategy that will ensure your success and their inevitable demise.
Considering I’ve tested my fair share of iPhone game applications, I can confidently say that those with a more simple concept and intuitive game play always prove to be the most entertaining and most addictive. In the case of Trenchman, my theory goes untarnished. Though many will probably argue that the game provides no excitement or serious action, they need only reach the point in the game where enemies start appearing faster than you can throw grenades. But before you panic, take a moment to observe and adore the enemy’s red rage face as each comes closer, then toss a grenade into the middle of a whole cluster. (Knocking down two or more with one toss is oddly satisfying.) Even if you die, there’s a good chance you’ll return for another battle, and getting users to play over and over surely indicates this game is a keeper.
Trenchman requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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