Friday, October 25, 2013

Sketchbook Squad (Game Review)

Can you say "Doodle Jump?" Can you say "Scribblenauts?" I wondered if Sketchbook Squad might have something to do with sketching.

Well, it doesn't. You just jump ever higher and grab sketchbooks on your way off. But maybe I just expect too much.

So, like Doodle Jump, you just start at the bottom and jump until you ... die!

Here's the splash screen:


So far, maybe it is still about sketching. But no Help button. Maybe a tutorial is coming?

When you press Play! you get:



Yup, it's Doodle Jump! How does this play? Well, you are always moving and bouncing up and down. If you hit a platform, you bounce back up again. Your goal is to move the little guy so that he will jump up to another platform.

But, the touch seems not so responsive. Most of the time I get a few platforms up and then fall off to my death. If I get a sketchpad (little red notebook),  It is way too easy to die!

Here's my death:


Because the touch is so unresponsive, it is too easy to die. So I can't even tell if there is anything more or how high the levels go. I watched a video of an Android version and it looks like you can get things like sketchbooks that give you a rocket boost and maybe more.

I haven't had any other touch problems with other games on the ZTE Open, so I'll be curious if others have been able to get this to work. Or maybe I'm just clumsy?

This game is on Android and iOS and you can see a video of it here:


STOP!!!

I played around a bit more with this and found that it isn't touch based at all. Maybe that's a problem of not having a Help screen.  This is actually a very cool game but when I thought I was touching, I was actually tilting the screen. This is a motion-sensor game and it works perfectly.

Tilt left and the guy tilts left. So who needs touch?

It is still pretty easy to die, but the controls work perfectly, the art is fine, and the game has a good play factor. So the lesson here is keep playing and maybe you'll figure it out. The game is good, Orange Pixel, but I really would have liked to see a tutorial or directions so I didn't guess wrong and think it was touch based.

But, this game introduced me to the Firefox OS Accelerometer and I'd like to play with it. There's some documentation and sample at https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/WebAPI/Detecting_device_orientation and it looks pretty cool. And Sketchbook Squad opened the door to me, so I'll forgive them for their lack of a Help screen and give them a 5. So who needs a finger?

Cost: Free
Genre: Puzzle
Score: 5 (out of 5)
Tested on: ZTE Open (Firefox OS)
Get it at: Firefox Marketplace