Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Lentrica Software’s debut iPhone application is Bowman, a quick-hitting game that is all about playing up the one-on-one archery duel. In terms of its origin, Bowman is a port of a popular game available on several flash gaming portals. It’s gameplay mechanics were entirely wrapped around using the mouse, so it makes for a good candidate to be remade for the iPhone.
Bowman can succinctly be described as a game that pits two archers against each other to the very end. Archers are randomly placed on a two-dimensional plane to start the battle. Because it’s not immediately clear where you need to fire initially, finding the spot of your opposition requires a bit of a trial and error approach. The first archer to lace the other one with enough arrows to register a kill, wins. Though the majority of attacks register the same, attacking an archer in the body and head does more damage. At the end of a battle, you’re taken to the main menu where you can do it all over again (against the CPU or a friend on the same iPhone).
Shooting arrows in Bowman is straightforward. Touching the screen readies your archer to fire. By pulling back and angling up or down with your finger, you have unlimited options to fire with the trajectory and strength you want to. Upon lifting your finger, your arrow gets fired off. As a cool and helpful measure, you get a numerical value that corresponds to the precise angle you’re shooting at making it painless to replicate your approach. You will not have any issues with the control here.
The presentation found in Bowman closely mirrors the stylish and minimalist treatment applied to the original game. Backgrounds use a nice looking orange to blue gradient along with some subtle design touches like rocks and shrubs on the ground. Archers are black silhouettes and drops of blood come out of them when hit by arrows. You will not see anything here that comes close to taxing the iPhone’s hardware, but it looks good enough.
Though Bowman is a port, it includes a well done additional mode that’s a good time waster. Bird Hunting is a timed mode that fills the sky with a bunch birds that need to be shot down. With a sky full of birds to shoot, it's easily my favorite mode of the game.
If Bowman has an Achilles heel, it would have to be that there’s no online functionality, (e.g. leaderboards, Facebook Connect, local or Wi-Fi multi-player etc.) gameplay variety, and the record keeping for the two gameplay modes are lackluster. Some of these shortcomings will be addressed with a new update (and a higher price point...) soon, so if you’re remotely interested, you may want to grab this now while it's still a buck. Bowman’s a good game that’s only going to get better once Lentrica Software realizes its full vision.