Beads of sweat glisten on the player’s brow in the face of danger. Fingers twitch, and at the very last second you make it clear of danger.
Just to clarify—the scene described above isn’t from some wild safari adventure, or even what we have to contend with at the AndroidPIT headquarters (just kidding, lovely colleagues!). No, I was trying to wet your appetite for today’s featured app: Safari! HD.
Features & Use
Safari! HD’s gameplay is reminiscent of Bejewled 2, which has become a classic. If you’re a fan of the latter it would make sense to check out Safari! HD.
A brief run-down of the how-to: combine pictures of the same animals; in doing so you eliminate them and score points. Only directly adjacent pictures can be eliminated, and for every batch of animal portraits you get rid of a new one drops down. The score is contingent on how many portraits you manage to zap: the more you get rid of the more points you will receive. E.g.: you get 90 points for three portraits, 160 for four and a whopping 250 for five. Onwards, brave adventurers, strive for greatness!
This Endless mode is bound it become dull after a time, which is why there are other modes that add a certain something to the game, although the basic gameplay remains the same throughout.
I’m most partial to the Survivor Mode: a clever combo, of challenge, fun and stress. A time bar let’s you now how long you’ve got left, and the goal is to top up the bar before it runs out. Every time you reach 2000 points you can relax for a second, seeing as the bar then automatically fills up half way again.
It goes without saying that how much you will enjoy this game is in direct relation to how badly you want to keep beating your top scores. There’s also open feint to spur you on (click on the OF symbol).
There’s also the Time Attack mode in which a player has 100 seconds to score as many points as possible.
While Safari! HD makes a great first impression, I can’t whole heartedly recommend purchasing it. For instance, the open feint connection is quite unstable. Now, you might argue that the game shouldn’t be to blame for this… I go into more detail in the Speed & Stability category.
Aside from stability issues my main concern is that the game does tend to get boring after a while. Plus, there are no new game modes or updates, which doesn’t exactly boost up a player’s motivation. All of this is relative, of course, especially seeing as other games – Doodle Jump or Angry Birds, for instance – don’t really come with more content, either.
If you liked Bejewled 2 you should definitely check out Safari! HD (all you newbies are welcome to give it a go, too, of course!). However, my advice would be to try to the game’s lite version before committing to purchasing.
For the moment Safari! HD is still missing that wow-factor: there are no surprises here, especially if you are already familiar with this type of gameplay.
The game is good overall, and if the developers decide to make a few changes it has the potential to become really fun.
The open feint issue is down to the fact the Safari! HD is still relatively unknown, meaning there aren’t very many high scores up on the board yet, which could put a bit of a damper on a player’s drive. Here’s hoping this review will have a positive influence on that specific issue!
Screen & Controls
Safari! HD is a good looking app. The graphic design is pretty, simple and not too overloaded. The sound effects are fun, too: beating drums and the sound of cicadas.
Controls are generally good, though I ran into a few tight corners when my link of portraits got to be quite long: my fingers would cover up pictures and as a result there would sometimes be one portrait left over. My fingers are average in size, so I do think this comes down to the way the game was designed.
NB: There are two versions of Safari, the first is designed for smaller displays and the second for larger ones 8as of 3,7 in.).
Speed & Stability
Safari! HD runs smoothly and doesn’t crash. It also recognises entries accurately. Open feint is the downfall in this category.
It wasn’t easy scoring Safari! HD in this category. I quite like the game, but on the other hand I find EUR 0,99 to be bit steep for the content. That being said, if you enjoy the game the price could be seen as fair. I would suggest trying the lite version in order to form an opinion.
The app can be downloaded from the AndroidPIT App Center or the Android Market.