Boredom is no doubt one of the worst things there is. Today I was in the train, heading out of town for an appointment, and looking out the window thinking to myself ‘Hmm, I think I’ve seen the same landscape zipping past me at least 20 or maybe even 50 times. This blows!’ But luckily I had my Desire with me. I perused through the Developer Community here on AndroidPIT and came across an app I hadn’t seen before: XTower.
Boredom and Games? The perfect combo. Games have often saved me from in the most boring situations.
Read on to find out whether Xtower managed to battle my boredom, as well as why I nearly flipped my lid.
Features & Use
Let me start by clearing up the lid-flipping-situation: it took me a good 40 minutes to download this game. It just wouldn’t start downloading—a problem which I’ve experienced a few times of late. It’s enough to give you the impression that Google has cracked the problem of bending time when it comes to the Android Market. ‘One moment please..’ can sometimes turn into an hour. A time machine à la ‘Back to the Future’ has become a reality thanks to Google.
But enough ranting, let’s get back to the actual game. XTowers is a game that requires patience and skill based on knowledge of physics. If you’re like me and you enjoyed building towers when you were a kid, you might get a kick out of this app. Catch the blocks at the top of the screen and drag them down on to the platform… The goal of the game is quite simply to build a tower, as high as possible, without it tumbling over. If you’re building the tower on a wobbly foundation it will collapse.
There are three different levels to choose from:
• Quick Game: A quickie, so to speak. Oddly enough, though, this is actually the variant which takes the most time, as the game goes on and on until the tower crumbles.
• Sudden Death: Whoa, now there’s a martial name for ya, if ever there was one. I wonder when Steve Jobs will start pushing up daisies (or apple trees, maybe). Anyway, this level is all about meticulousness—if one single block is misplaced, you’re dead.
• Time's Up!: The clock is ticking... and when the time’s up, the game is over.
The game is pretty sweet and definitely has a junkie factor. But... there’s still a little something missing. First of all, I find the level concept a bit cloudy. Secondly, a few more components would enhance the fun factor, because after building a couple of towers the game can become a bit boring (sorry, I told you that I get bored really quickly).
How about adding a Tetris component, that is to say that blocks keep dropping down at a faster pace? Or if certain towers have to constructed according to a specific pattern? And so on…
But having said that, I really do like this game, it’s just that – for me personally – I feel that something’s missing. But I’m still willing to give it three stars (which isn't a bad rating). I do regret not being able to award it more, as I think this app has a lot of potential. Maybe the developer will take the time to get some ideas from our community. I can well imagine that there’s a lot of creative potential our there.
Screen & Controls
From a graphics point of view this app is nicely designed, even if it isn’t spectacular, it’s well done.
You pick up the gameplay very quickly and thus can get cracking without further ado, though I did (occasionally) experience difficulties when trying to drag blocks on to the platform. But I could deal with it and it didn’t put too much a damper on my enjoyment of the game.
What bothered me most of all is that there’s no abort button you can click on during a game: so once you’re in the game, there’s no getting out, whether you like it or not. If that’s your kind of deal, you’re in luck, if not, tough luck!
The explanations given for the levels are equally nebulous. I would’ve liked to see two or three sentences elucidating the various levels, just to let us know what the goal of each game is.
At this point the app just manages to scrape past the two star rating. A more in-depth explanation wouldn’t have been amiss, and I’m sure the game would be more fun if instructions were provided.
Speed & Stability
No problems with XTowers... except for the Time’s Up! level, in which it isn’t always so easy to pull blocks from the top. However, there were no crashes during the testing phase.
You can download XTowers free of charge from the Android Market, but you will ahve to suffer some advertisement in some of the sections