Developer: Metaphase 07 SLNE
Price: free Download on the App Store
If a 2-dimensial iPhone game were based on building toys like k’nex or even tinker toys, then Structk would be the closest outcome. Essentially, Structk is a physics application that is played out as a game. With two modes to play, Structk lets users build 2-dimensial structures and then test their engineering skills against hurricane or earthquake forces.
Structk is different and while imagination and an interest in structural engineering may be required to really enjoy, it is its uniqueness that makes it interesting. You can play an arcade mode with a couple dozen levels available for download and try to meet the level challenges or you can play on your own in free mode. Either way, you can test the structural soundness of your creation against simulated earthquakes and hurricanes.
Structk gives players the option of using a variety of construction materials like wood, steel and aluminum beams. Each material is a different length and the structure is rendered in 2D with visible joints to help you analyze the stability of your building. By employing basic principles of physics, your goal is to create structures to withstand destruction.
As unique as Structk is, it's lack of intuition is disappointing. It is truly a unique concept that could render hours of creative enjoyment, but due to the touch precision required for interaction and building, it causes more frustration than enjoyment. To elicit the desired actions – placement and attachment of building material – you must be quite precise. Even the lines and grids that serve as a visible guide aren’t all that useful – especially when blocked from view by large fingers. It’s as frustrating as watching a child with no motor skills trying to build a Lincoln Log bridge.
Structk strikes a balance somewhere between a unique building game and an exercise in frustration. If you stick with it, you can begin to navigate the levels a bit easier, but as cool as the concept is, it doesn’t translate well to the iPhone’s tiny screen. In the end, there are too many things that get in the way of Structk being a solid $3.00 iPhone game. Not only is the price off, but it lacks intuitiveness and precision and leaves you wishing it would respond cleanly – all of which interfere with its real potential. Those with patience and persistence who can’t resist physics-based construction and structural engineering may enjoy Structk with more enthusiasm, but the average user is bound to be slightly more frustrated than entertained.