Developer: Jonathan Apple
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Buster Boy - While the iPhone has enjoyed a wide range of mainstream and decidedly conventional games in it’s growing library, we’ve also seen some interesting and obscure titles made available as well (Hey Rolando!). Getting a nice change of pace game that pleasantly surprises you is always great, so I was eager to try out the latest release from Yotta Digital. Their new game is entitled Buster Boy, and it’s a spin off from Capcom’s Buster Bros. which was released about 20 years ago. That game was critically acclaimed in its heyday, and Yotta Digital is looking to recapture the magic that made the original title so universally loved.
This is an extremely simple game. You are Buster Boy, a character that has to pop balloons in each level using projectile weapons. In addition to popping balloons, you need have to dodge them to prevent having your health gauge (denoted as a percentage in this game) from falling to zero.
The accelerometer controls the direction of Buster Boy while tapping on the screen launches projectiles. In theory this should provide a very easy control scheme to navigate throughout the levels, but it fails to be consistently responsive. Moving your Buster Boy feels sluggish and tapping the screen sometimes doesn’t trigger the launch of your projectile weapons. With the fast movement of the balls you’re busting in play, the poor execution of the control scheme is amplified. So you can expect to be seeing a “Game Over” screen consistently due to the sloppy controls.
The presentation layer in Buster Boy is average. While the background images leverage cool still photography, there is a noticeable lack of cool visual effects to supplement them. This contributes to a barren look and feel that plagues the game's visuals. On a good note, the music has a nice tecno vibe reminiscent of Mondo-Grosso - a personal favorite of mine - from his Lumines fame. Yotta Digital should invest some time into properly developing a real “help” section in the game. I knew how to play because of my knowledge of the original game that inspired this game, but the help section in the game is pointless. In it’s current sate, the help section is a gloried credits page that strikes me as a space where the developers decided to pat themselves on the back instead of helping people understand how to play the game.
Buster Boy had a good idea in remixing an old classic into a modern experience for a whole new audience. Poorly done controls, average graphics and sound, and an overall clinical execution busts any chance of most people having fun with this title.