Developer: Danny Perski
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
Rock Paper Scissors, the popular hand game of chance (or one could argue strategy), involving a vicious, three-weapon win-lose cycle has gone high-tech and high-stakes. The Rock Paper Missiles app for iPhone and iPad is a simplistic mobile game that expands the list of weapons in the arsenal beyond rock, paper and scissors to include flaming arrows, mythical dragons and explosives. Rock Paper Missiles has two modes – single and multiplayer – and multiple levels to achieve with points for unlocking additional weapons.
Rock Paper Scissors is viewed as a kids’ game for deciding trivial things from who gets the last cookie to whose turn it is to take out the trash. Rock Paper Missiles makes it easy for kids of all ages to engage in similar face-off, though to what end, no one knows. Or you can just try and memorize the hierarchy of weapons playing against the AI selections.
Without touching on or even arguing the point of a such an app, let’s assume there is a need. Rock Paper Missiles offers more than the three possible selections, which makes the game more varied, but by that same token, still retains the three-item win-lose outcome. There are five-item variations of the game – most notably, Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock, made famous by the Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper – but the addition of items in Rock Paper Missiles doesn’t change the game by increasing odds or changing strategy because it remains three-part.
With Rock Paper Missiles, players choose three of their available weapons and then are given the chance to view their opponent’s available options as well. This helps eliminate some confusion by at least knowing that there are still three options against three before choosing your final “throw”. It does not eliminate the confusion of which weapon beats which weapon, especially since there are items that don’t gel with the “stone, distraction, blade” explanation offered in the “how to play” tutorial. For instance, if Dragon is a mythical weapon, is he a distraction or something different? Yet for the game to remain three-sided, each weapon has to be in one of three groups. Bit perplexing, really.
It’s difficult to identify the audience for Rock Paper Missiles, but if you happen to be a Rock Paper Scissors fan, then we’ve got a winner. It’s at least built with some sense of mobile platform compatibility and rumor has it there is an awesome easter egg thrown in. The price point may scare away some potential takers as it comes off a bit high for something so simplistic, but even if it’s not appealing to the masses, the right audience is out there.